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BIOGRAPHICAL   ESSAYS. 


•  OLIVER     CROMWELL. 

DANIEL    DE    FOE. 

SIR    RICHARD    STEELE. 

CHARLES    CHURCHILL. 

SAMUEL    FOOTE. 


By  JOHN    FORSTER. 


THIRD     EDITION. 

[iJSflVBESITT] 

JOHN  MURRAY,   ALBEMARLE  STREET. 

1860. 

\Jthe  right  of  Tranjlation  is  refer^ved.'] 


%- 


p*^ 


LONDON : 

BRADBURY  AND   EVANS,   PRINTERS,   WHITEFRIARS. 


PREFACE. 


46,  Montagu  Square, 

September,   18G0. 

The  subjoined  remarks  were  prefixed  to  tlie  last  Edition 
of  this  work. 

"  Of   these  Biographical  Essays,  three  have  been 
'  published  in  the  Edinburgh  Review,    and  two  in  the 

*  Quarterly  Revieio ;  but  all,  as  they  are  now  printed, 

*  have  received  careful  revision,  and,  excepting  only  the 
'  first,  large  additions.  Not  for  this  should  I  have  pre- 
^  sumed,  however,  to  give  them  a  form  less  dependent, 

*  and  more  accessible,  than  that  of  the  distinguished 
'  periodicals  in  which  they  appeared  originally.    A  more 

*  numerous  issue  of  volumes  from  the  press  is  not  among 
'  the  wants  of  the  time.  But  from  the  first  these  Essays 
'  were  independent  biographical  studies,  and  not  reviews 
'  in  the  ordinary  sense.  Such  information  and  opinions 
'  as  they  embodied  were  their  own ;  and  their  design 

*  was  to  supply,  in  a  compact  original  form,  what  it 

*  seemed  desirable  to  possess,  but  impossible  elsewhere 

*  to  obtain,  upon  the  particular  subjects  treated. 

"  The  many  additions  in  the  present  publication  are 

*  meant  to  give  to  that  design  greater  scope  and  fullness. 
'  They  are  most  considerable  in  the  memoirs  of  Steele 
'  and  FooTE ;  and,  in  the  latter  more  especially,  an  attempt 
'  by  means  of  them  has  been  made  to  render  more  com- 

*  plete  the  picture  of  a  series  of  comic  writings,  which 

*  are  not  more  remarkable  for  character  and  wit  than  for 


PREFACE. 


'  their  vivid  and  humorous  presentment  of  English  vices 
^  and  foibles  in  the  later  half  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
^  but  which  accidental  causes  may  probably  for  ever  shut 
'  out  from  the  place  they  might  have  claimed  to  occupy 
'  in  the  literature  of  England. '' 


To  this  I  have  simply  now  to  add  that  the  book  has 
undergone  further  revision;  and  that  I  have  embodied 
h).  the  memoir  of  De  Foe  some  facts  derived  from  family 
papers  obtained  by  me  since  the  last  edition  appeared, 
and  one  letter,  hitherto  unprinted,  written  by  De  Foe 
himself.  I  am  also  able  to  subjoin,  in  this  place,  availing 
myself  of  the  permission  kindly  afforded  by  their  possessor, 
the  two  additional  letters,  also  original,  to  which  I  have 
referred  in  that  memoir,  and  which,  brief  as  they  are, 
form  no  unwelcome  contribution  to  the  very  few  existing 
specimens  of  the  great  writer's  correspondence.  The 
remarks  at  p.  112  will  sufficiently  explain  the  allusions 
in  them.  Both  his  correspondent  and  the  Mr.  Kogers 
of  whom  mention  is  made,  appear  to  be  connected 
with  the  business  of  publishing ;  and  the  special  matters 
in  which  he  desires  their  agency  are  his  Thoughts  on 
the  late  Victory,  published  as  his  Hymn  to  Victory,  and 
his  Jure  Bivino.  He  had  only  been  a  few  weeks  out  of 
prison  when  the  notes  were  written,  yet  already  he  had 
been  reported  (in  connection  with  an  article  in  his  Review 
for  which  Admiral  Rooke  had  threatened  to  prosecute 
him)  as  flying  from  his  recognizances ;  and  it  is  to  the 
latter  incident,  not  to  the  London  Grazette  advertisement, 
he  refers  in  the  second  note. 


"  S'", — I  had  yo''  obligeing  Letter,  for  w^^,  tho'  its  now 
"  very  Late,  I  presume  to  give  you  my  Sincere  Thanks. 
"  1  had  Given  Mr.  Rogers  over,  and  laiew  not  how 


PREFACE.  V 

^'  matters  were  w*'^  him ;  supposing  lie  was  marry 'd  and 
"  had  forgot  his  friends,  or  something  else  was  befallen 
"him. 

"  This  made  me  give  you  y^  Trouble  of  a  Pcell  yester- 
"  day,  by  the  Carryer,  in  w'^'^  are  50  books,  w'^''  you  will 
"  find  are  a  few  Thoughts  on  y^  late  Yictory :  if  you 
"  please  to  Let  him  have  them,  or  any  Friends  that 
''  Desire  y™.  If  they  are  too  many,  he  may  retume 
"  what  he  mislikes. 

"  I  can  not  Enlarge,  but  you'l  see,  by  y^  Enclos'd, 
"  what  wonderfull  Things  God  is  Doeing  in  y^  World;  of 
"  w^^  I  could  not  forbear  putting  you  to  y^  Charge,  that 
"  you  might  let  our  friends  have  y^  first  of  it.  'Tis 
"  midnight.     I  hope  you  will  Excuse  y^  hast. 

"  I  am,  S"-, 
"  Yo""  sincere  Friend  [and]  Serv^ 

"  De  Foe. 

''  Ultim"  Aug^  1704, 

"  Addressed 

*'  To  Mr.  Sam'^^^  Elisha, 

"in 

''  Shrewsbury." 


"  S'', — I  have  yo^  kind  Letter,  and  had  answerd  it 
"  sooner  but  I  have  been  out  of  Town  for  above  3  weeks. 

"  What  Treatm'^  I  have  had  since  I  have  been  abroad, 
"  you  will  see  in  y^  Revieio  where  I  have  been  oblig'd  to 
"  vindicate  my  self  by  an  advertisement ;  and  had  not  y« 
'^  maHce  of  people  reported  me  fled  from  justice,  w^*^  made 
"  me  think  it  necessary  to  come  up  and  sho'  my  self,  I 
"  dont  kno'  but  I  might  have  given  you  a  short  visit. 

"  I  am  Grlad  to  hear  you  had  ye  Hymns,  and  thank 
"  your  acceptance  of  the  single  one ;  but  I  must  owne 
''  myself  sorry  Mr.  Rogers  is  leaving  you. 

"  I  Thank  you  for  yo^'  kind  proposall ;  but  tho*  I  have 
"  a  Family  Large  Enough,  would  not  have  my  useless 
"  acquaintance  Burthensome  to  my  Friends ;  Especially 
'*  you,  of  whom  I  have  been  capable  to  meritt  very 
"  Little. 

"  I  rejoyce  that  I  shall  see  you  in  Town  and  wish  you 


vi  PREFACE. 

*'  a  good  journey  up.  I  beg  y^  favour  of  you  to  remind 
''  Mr.  Rogers  of  Jure  DivinOf  w^^^  now  Draws  near 
"  putting  forward. 

"  I  am,  S^ 
"  Yo»-  Oblig'd  Humble  Serv*. 

DeF. 

*'  Octo¥  11,  1704." 


ERRATA. 

P.  112.     The  difference  of  date  in  the  two  letters  is    "a  month,"  not 
"a  year." 

P.  272.      ''Fitzgerald,"  printed  in  the  running  title  at  top  of  the  page, 
should  be  "  Fitzpatrick." 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE    OF    CONTENTS. 


I.     OLIVER  CROMWELL.     1599—1658. 
(From  the  Edinhurgh  Review,  Jan.  1856.    With  Omissions.)     1 — 55. 

PAGE 

Notices  of  Cromwell  since  the  days  of  Hume  ....         1 

Cromwell  as  presented  by  modern  writers — First  view  of  his  cha- 
racter— Defeat  and  disappointment 2 

Second  view — Same  results  from  other  causes — Traitor  to  Liberty 

not  Royalty .         3 

Third  view — Complete  type  of  the  Puritan  Rebellion   .         .     .         4 

Cromwell  according  to  Mr.  Carlyle — His  temporal  and  spiritual 

victories — M.  Guizot's  version          .....         5 

Cromwell's  character  coloured  by  Guizot's  political  experiences 
— A  great  and  successful  but  unscrupulous  man — Exciter 
and   chastiser   of  Revolution — Destroyer  and  architect  of 
Government        .........         6 

-"^Causes  of  his  failure — Foundations  of  his  greatness  set  upon 

Disorder  .........         7 

How  a  book  may  be  spoiled  by  translation — Example  .  .  .  8 
Style  extinguished — Delicacies  of  utterance  destroyed  .  .  9 
Temptation    of  high-sounding  sentences — Meanings   and   sense 

translated 10 

Intention  missed — Subtleties  dropped 11 

Felicities  and  infelicities  of  idiom       .         .         .         ,         .     .       12 
Parallel  passages  from  Text  and  Translation — Warning  to  foreign 

writers ..........       13 

Character  of  M.  Guizot's  History — Reflection  of  his  own  cha- 
racter— Influences  from  recent  events  .         .         .         .     .       14 

Early  life  of  M.  Guizot — First  literary  labours — Professor  of 

Modern  History  at  the  age  of  24     .         .         .         .         .       15 

His   opinions — Writings   on   Representative    Government    and 

the  English  Revolution— The  Three  Days     .         .         .     .       16 


Tiii  CONTENTS. 

Oliver  Cromwell.  page 

Guizot's  career  as  Minister — Fall  of  Frencli  monarchy — Dis- 
likes and  calumnies  of  French  republicans         .         .         .17 

The  Old  Republicans  of  England — Their  character  and  motives       18 

Under  what  conditions  a  Republic  honours  and  serves  humanity 

— M.  Guizot  not  unjust  to  English  republicanism       .         .       19 

A  visit  to  Mr.  John  Milton's  lodging — Cromwell's  personal  re- 
lations with  Milton 20 

The   Republican  Council  of  State — Eminent  members — Causes 

conspiring  to  its  fall 21 

Cromwell's  seizure  of  power — Secret  of  the  governing  art— In- 
stinct of  the  drift  of  the  People  .         .         .         .         .     .       22 

Cardinal  de  Retz  and  Cromwell — Vane's  secret  mission  to  France       23 

Ambition   with  a  plan  and  without — Fixity  of  men's  designs 

and  Uncertainty  of  their  destiny — The  interval  between     .       24 

Cromwell's  early  life — Quiet  performance  of  his  duties — Doing 
thoroughly  what  he  has  to  do — Picture  of  him  in  D' Ewes' s 
MS 25 

His  Experience  in  the  Field — Organisation  of  his  Ironsides — 

Duty  of  directing  and  governing  men         ....       26 

Rising  to  all  occasions — Assuming  still  his  natural  place — Glory 

of  the  country  reflected  in  his 27 

Readiness  for  the  hour  and  no  restlessness  beyond — The  time 

when  one  mounts  highest         .         .         .         .         .         .28 

M.  Guizot's  imperfect  recognition  of  Religious  Element  in 
English  Revolution — His  view  of  purely  worldly  character 
of  Protectorate 29 

Oliver  Protector — The  basis  of  his  government — His  plan  for  a 

Succession      .         .         , 30 

The  Protector's  real  model — The  old  Hebrew  Judges — His  piety 

not  statecraft 31 

One  mind  in  all  his  letters — At  St.  Ives  and  in  Whitehall  his 

tone  the  same  ........       32 

Proofs  of  a  profound  sincerity— Equally  removed  from  hypocrisy 

and  fanaticism  .........       33 

Toleration  of  differences  in  religion — His  project  of  a  Synod  to 
bring  sects  into  agreement— Preachei'S  of  Covenant  over- 
thrown as  he  had  overthrown  its  Army — Sublime  warning 
to  the  Presbytery  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .34 

A   scene   in   Ely  Cathedral — Intercession  with  a  Royalist  for 

liberty  of  conscience  .         .       * 35 

Inseparability  of  Temporal  and  Spiritual  things — Thoughts  of  a 

Hero — The  same  in  triumph  and  in  peril .         .         .         .36 

After  Worcester  and  before  Dunbar— The  Pillar  of  Fire — Ac- 
counts by  Officers  of  his  Household       .         .         .         .     .       37 

A  Velasquez  portrait  in  words  —General  estimate  by  M.  Guizot 

— Contention  with  the  Parliament 38 

Victor  in  the  duel — Cromwell's  foreign  policy — Light  thrown 

upon  it  by  M.  Guizot 39 


CONTENTS.  ix 

Oliver  Cromicell.  page 

Rivalries  of  De  Retz  and  Mazarin  for  Cromweirs  favour — His 

attitude 40 

JMazarin  no  match  for  Cromwell — Cardinal  and  Coadjutor  out- 
witted        41 

Cromwell's  alliances — France  and  Spain^Why  France  was  pre- 
ferred   42 

Mazarin  no  match  for  Oliver — Characteristic  presents — Tapestry, 

wine,  and  Barbary  horses — Pure  Cornish  tin         .  .     .       43 

Ideas  of  foreign  policy — "Whitelock's  Embassy  to  Sweden — The 

project  for  a  Council  of  all  Protestant  Communions    .         .       44 

Execution  of  the  Portuguese  Ambassador's  brother — Prince  of 

Conde's  overtures  to  Cromwell 45 

Seizure  of  Jamaica — Great  Treaty  with  France  —Admiration  of 

young  Louis  XIV 46 

Homage  of  Foreign  Sovereigns — Old  Princes  and  Kings  humbled 

before  Cromwell 47 

Failure   of   Parliaments   of    Protectorate — Cromwell's  Major- 

Generals .48 

Comedy  of  Kingship— Its  unwelcome  fifth  act — Why  Protec- 
torate must  close 49 

Patronage  of  literature  and  learned  men — Cromwell's  gratitude 

for  Waller's  panegyric     .  .         .         .         .  .         .50 

His  enjoyment  of  cheerful  recreation — His  pipe  and  game  at 

crambo — Protectorate  Court  Circular 51 

Alleged  domestic  infidelities  a  Royalist  slander—  Correspondence 
with  his  wife — Cromwell's  five  sons — Information  respecting 
them 52 

The  school  at  Felsted — Death-bed  of  Cromwell — Affecting  refer- 
ence to  his  eldest  son  .         .         .         .         .         .     .       53 

The  Register  of  Burials  in  Felsted  ])arish  church — One  memora- 
ble Entry  there 54 

*  *  Vir  honorandus  " — What  might  have  been  if  Robert  Crom- 
well had  lived 55 


II.     DANIEL  DE  FOE.     1661—1731. 

(From  the  Edinburgh  Review,  Oct.  1845.    With  Additions.)     57 — 158. 

Charles  II.     1661—1685. 

An  example  of  Things  that  Ought  to  have  Succeeded — A  solitary 

Life  and  a  solitary  Fame 57 

Mr.  Pepys  and  his  wife  in  Whitehall  Gardens — Sheldon  and  Cla- 
rendon presiding  over  Chui'ch  and  State         .         .         .     .       58 

Indulgence  to  Dissenters  in  Year  of  Dutch  War — Mr.  James  Foe 

of  Cripplegate        ........       59 

School-days  of  Daniel  Foe— A  boxing  English  boy         .         .     .       60 


X  CONTENTS. 

Daniel  De  Foe.  page 

Educated  in  English  as  well  as  in  dead  and  in  foreign  Languages 

—The  old  131ind  Schoolmaster  of  Bunhill-fields  .         .       61 

The  Popish  Plot — Two  Memorable  Words  first  heard — Whigs 

and  Tories — Titus  Gates 62 

Young  Daniel's  opinions  of  the  Plot — A  Protestant  Flail   .         .       63 

The  Monument  carried  off  by  six  Frenchmen — Lying  like  Truth 
— A  Grenius  for  homely  Fiction — Daniel  Foe,  freeman, 
liveryman,  and  hose-factor  .......       64 

The  Close  of  Charles  IPs  reign — Seven  eventful  years — Visit  of 

William  of  Orange  .......       65 

Russell's  execution — Charles  the  Second  toying  with  his  Concu- 
bines— Death     .......         .     .       QQ 

James  IL     1685—1689. 

Greetings  from  Churchmen  and  Lawyers — Passive  Obedience  and 

Infallibility  of  Kings QQ 

Landing  of  Monmouth — Daniel  Foe  "Out"  with  the  Rebels — 

Escapes  over  Sea,  and  returns,  Daniel  De  Foe       .         .     .       67 

James  IPs  Claim  to  a  Dispensing  Power — Character  of  the  King 

— His  overmastering  Passion    .         .         .         .  .  .68 

De  Foe's  denunciation  of  Court  time-servers — Dissenters  disclaim 

him 69 

Art  of  thinking  and  standing  Alone — The  landing  at  Torbay — 
Flight  of  James — Debates  of  the  Convention — De  Foe  at 
Guildhall 70 


William  IIL    1689—1702. 

A  Prince  who    could  stand  Alone — De   Foe's  Celebrations  of 

William — Hero-worship 71 

Marriage — Reverses  in  Trade — Flight  from  London  .         .         .72 

Writing  against  the  Iniquities  of  Whitefriars  and  the  Mint  — 

In  Bristol — The  Sunday  Gentleman 73 

Essay  on  Projects — A  Tradition  of  the  Landlord  of  the  Red 

Lion      . 74 

Reforms  suggested  in  Banking,  Public  Roads,  Insurance,  Friendly 

Societies  and  Savings  Banks,  and  Treatment  of  Lunatics    .       75 

Scenes  in  London — Treachery  on  all  Sides — Proposed  Academy 

of  Letters 76 

De  Foe's  other  suggested  Reforms — Military  College — Abolition 
of  Imprisonment — College  for  Education  of  Women — Ar- 
rangement with  Creditors — Subsequent  Payments  in  full    .       77 

Refuses  to  leave  England — Public  Employment — Made  Account- 
ant to  Commissioners  of  Glass  Duty — His  Works  at  Til- 
bury  78 

His  Sailing-boat  on  the  Thames — The  most  Unpopular  Man  in 

England — The  Man  who  saved  England        .         .         .     .       79 


CONTENTS.  xi 

Daniel  Be  Foe.  page 

De  Foe's  Appeal  against  "William  Ill's  Assailants — The  noblest 

of  Services,  Low  Rewarded 80 

Character  of  the  Great  King — Constitutional  Government  not  an 

easy  Problem  to  Solve 81 

His  Whig  and  his  Tory  Assailants — A  Difference — De  Foe's  early 

Political  Writings 82 

Interview  between  William  and  De  Foe  —Personal  aspects  of  the 

Men 83 

Generous  Enmity — De  Foe  and  Dryden — Swift's  lesson  in  eating 

Asparagus 84 

Principles  of  Revolution  taking  root — Discussion  of  Moral  Ques- 
tions— De  Foe's  Essay  on  the  Poor        .         .         .         .     .       85 

Justice's  Justice — Occasional  Conformity — Offence  to  Dissenters        86 
Condition  of  the  Stage — Charles  II's  Court  too  refined  for  such 

Plays  as  Hamlet— Collier  and  Burnet — De  Foe's  attack      .       87 

Fugitive  Verses — Mi-.  Tutchin's  Poem  of  the  Foreigners— The 

True  Born  Englishman    .         .         .         .  .         .         .88 

William's  need  of  Service — Service  rendered  by  De  Foe — An 

Appeal  to  the  Common  People     .         .         .         .         .     .       89 

Popularity  of  the  True  Born  Englishman — De  Foe  sent  for  to 

the  Palace — A  great  Question  mooted        .         .         .         .90 

De  Foe's  famous  Letter  upon  Government — Popular  Element  in 
the  English  Constitution — Original  Right  and  Delegated 
Power 91 

Robert  Harley's  first  beginnings — A  Creature  of  the  Revolution 

— House  of  Commons  tact        ...  ...       92 

Kentish  Petition  and  Legion  Memorial — Impeachment  of  Whig 
Lords — Jonathan  Swift's  Pamphlet — De  Foe's  Scheme  for 
Trade  presented  to  William         .         .         .  .         .     .       93 

Death  of  the  King— Mock  Mourners — De  Foe's  real  grief .         .       94 

Anne.     1702—1714. 

Character  of  the  Queen — Godolphin  and  Marlborough  promoted       95 

High  Church  prospects — A  Tantivy  Halloo — Bill  against  Occa- 
sional Conformity — Whig  and  Tory  Cats    .         ...       96 

Cowardice  of   Dissenters — Position    of   De    Foe—Sacheverell's 

Bloody  Flag — The  Shortest  Way  with  Dissenters  published       97 

Masterpiece  of  Serious  Irony — Its  Effect — Clamour  for  the  Au- 
thor's name — Folly  of  Dissenters       .         .         .  .         .98 

Reward  offered  for  Apprehension  of  De  Foe — Proclamation  in 

the  London  Gazette      ....  ...       99 

Surrenders  himself — His  Trial  at  Old  Bailey — Attorney- General 

Harcourt's  Speech 100 

Verdict  of  Guilty— Sentenced  to  Newgate  and  the  Pillory — What 

the  Pillory  then  was 101 

A  Hymn  to  the  Hieroglyphic  State  Machine— De  Foe's  sentence 

Carried  out,  in  CornhiU,  in  Cheapsidj,  and  at  Temple  Bar     102 


xii  CONTENTS. 

Daniel  De  Foe.  page 

How  the  Populace  behaved — Punishment  turned  into  Ovation— 

Pope's  ungenerous  allusion 103 

De  Foe  in  Newgate — Gaol  experiences — Restlessness  of  Martyr- 
dom        104 

Portrait  of  De  Foe — Prison  Writings — His  Account  of  the  Great 

Storm  .  • 105 

His  opinions  as  to  Literary  Copyright — Establishment  of  his 

Review     ..........     106 

Days  of  Publication — Uninterrupted  continuance  for  Nine  Years 

— Written  solely  by  De  Foe 107 

Piracies  of  the  Review — Originality  of  its  plan — Subjects  dis- 
cussed in  it        .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .     .     108 

The  Scandalous  Club — Wives  and  Husbands — Essays  on  Trade — 

First  sprightly  runnings  of  Tatlers  and  Spectators      .         .109 

De  Foe  for  the  Citizen  Classes,  Steele  and  Addison  for  the  Wits 

— Changes  in  the  Government 110 

Robert  Harley  in  Office — Ascertaining  how  far  the  People  will 
bear — Trimming  between  parties — Faith  in  Parliament  and 
the  Press — Message  to  De  Foe  .         .         .         .         .111 

Her  Majesty  interests  herself  for  Mr.  De  Foe — Release  from 

Newgate — Victory  of  Blenheim — De  Foe's  Hymn  .     .     112 

His  Letters  to  Halifax — De  Foe  sent  for — Use  of  Queen's  name  .     113 

Taken  to  Court  to  kiss  hands — Jonathan  and  Harley — Secret 

Service — Preparations  for  Travel      .         .         .  .         .114 

Return  to  England — A  General  Election — De  Foe  among  the 

Electors 115 

Popularity  of  his  Writings — Fury  of  his  Assailants — De  Foe  and 

the  Devil  at  leap  frog 116 

John  Dunton's  Tribute  — Elections  favourable  to  Whigs — Excite- 
ment of  the  High  Flyers — Inveteracy  against  De  Foe      .     .     117 

Lord  Haversham's  attack — De  Foe's  reply — Works  on  Trade, 

Tolei-ation,  and  the  Colonies — His  Giving  Alms  no  Charity  .     118 

His  Scheme  for  better  and  more  humane  Regulation  of  Mad- 
houses—His Jure  Divino       .         .  ...         119 

Opinions  as  to  Apparitions — On  Spiritual  Influences  and  Commu- 
nications with  Visible  World 120 

His  True  History  of  Mrs.  Veal — A  Ghost  called  from  the  Grave 

to  make  a  Dull  Book  sell 121 

A  gossip  upon  Death  by  the  Spirit  of  an  Exciseman's  housekeeper 

—Tittle  Tattle  from  the  Other  World  .         .         •         .     .     122 

Scottish  Union — De  Foe's  interview  with  the  Queen — Appointed 

Secretai-y  to  English  Commissioners  ....     123 

De  Foe  in  Scotland — His  Eulogy  on  the  Scotch — Histoiy  of  the 

Union — Its  effects      .         . 124 

Bedchamber  Intrigues — Backstairs  visits — Abigail  Masham  sus- 
;         pended  and  Robert  Harley  dismissed  .         .         .         .125 


CONTENTS.  xiii 

Daniel  Be  Foe.  page 

Triumph  of  Duchess  of  Marlborough — Whig  Administration  made 
more  Whiggish— Wits  at  Will's  Coffee-house — The  Joke 
against  Partridge 126 

Swift's  attack  on  De  Foe — De  Foe's  exertions  for  Men  of  Letters 

— Services  to  the  Ministry 127 

Interview  with  Lord  Treasurer  Godolphin — Gratitude  to  Harley 

— Again  the  High  Church  Trumpet      .  .         .         .     .     128 

De  Foe  again  attacks  both  Extremes — His  hint  to  such  Impar- 
tial Writers — Petty  Persecutions  of  him    .         .         .         .129 

Instances  from  Luttrell's  Diary — Reappearance  of  Sacheverell — 

His  Impeachment  resolved  upon  .         .         .  .         .     .     130 

Exultation  of  Harley — Trial  of  Sacheverell — Overthrow  of  the 

Ministry 131 

Exit  Godolphin  and  enter  Harley — Last  Administration  of  Queen 

Anne — Swift  and  the  new  Lord  Treasurer     .         .  .     .     132 

De  Foe  sent  for — Grounds  of  his  Conditional  support  stated — 

Principles  of  the  Revolution     ......     133 

Hai'ley's  Whig  tendencies — Principles  and  Persons — The  Ex- 
aminer and  the  Review 134 

Reply  to   Swift — Protest  against  Personalities  in  Literature — 

Courage  to  Fight  a  rascal  but  not  to  Call  him  one      .         .135 

De  Foe's  Appeal  against  his  Assailants — Charge  of  writing  for 

Place 136 

Debtor  and  Creditor  account  with  Harley's  Administration — A 

wise  old  Fox  and  a  tamed  Badger 137 

De  Foe's  arguments  for  Free  Trade — Opposes  the  Whig  attempt 
to  prohibit  Trade  with  France — Questions  on  which  he 
opposed  the  Harley  Administration 138 

Popish   doctrines   in   English   Church — Pamphlets  against  the 

Pretender 139 

De  Foe  again  thrown  into  Newgate — Released  by  Bolingbroke — 

Close  of  the  Review 140 

George  I  and  George  II.     1714 — 1731. 

Fall  of  Oxford  and  Bolingbroke — The  Whigs  fixed  in  power — • 
De  Foe  confuted  by  the  ingenious  Mr.  Addison — Whig 
rewards — The  reward  of  De  Foe 141 

Example  of  his  Life — Type  of  the  great  Middle-Class  English 
Character — A  question  for  posterity — The  world  Without 
and  Within 142 

De  Foe's  last  Political  Essay — De  Foe's  Moral  and  Religious 
Writings — Family  Instructor,  Religious  Courtship,  and 
History  of  the  Devil 143 

Complete  Tradesman  and  Strictures  on  London  Life — Advocates 
a  Metropolitan  University,  Foundling  Hospital,  and  better 
System  of  Police — Attacks  Beggars' Opera         .         .         .144 

Niched  into  the  Duaciad — Pope's  after  regrets — Begins  to  write 

Fiction  in  58th  year  of  his  age 145 


iv  CONTENTS. 

Daniel  De  Foe.  page 

Kobinson  Crusoe — Type  of  his  own  Solitudes  and  Strange  Sur- 
prising Adventures  .         .         ,         .         .         .         .146 

History  of   the   Plague  —  Moll   Flanders,     Colonel    Jack,   and 

Roxana 147 

Father  of  an  Illustrious  Family — What  English  Novelists  owe  to 

De  Foe 148 

His  Residence  at  Newington — His  Daughters — Mr.  Henry  Baker     149 

A  Family  Picture — Visit  of  Enthusiasts  from  New  World     .     .     150 

Proposal  for  Youngest  Daughter — Trouble  of  De  Foe — Dowry 

he  will  give  her 151 

Disputes  over  Marriage  Settlements — A  too  prudent  lover — Pro- 
perty of  De  Foe 152 

The  Marriage — De  Foe's  Letter  on  parting  with  his  Daughter    .     153 

His  Son-in-law — His  acts  of  Charity — Sudden  Reverse     .         .154 

Affecting  Letter  to  his  Printer — Labours,  anxieties,  and  ill-re- 
quited toil .     155 

Unnatural  conduct  of  his  Son — Fate  of  the  last  Lineal  Descend- 
ant of  a  (xreat  English  Writer — A  Subscription  and  its 
result    ..........     156 

De  Foe's  last  Letter — Final  Message  to  his  Children— Te  Deum 

Laudamus 157 

Death  of  Daniel  De  Foe 158 


in.  SIR  RICHARD  STEELE.     1675—1729. 

(From  the  Quarterly  Review,  1855.     With  Additions.)     159 — 253 

Fielding's  laugh  at  Tickell's  Depreciation  of  Steele  for  Addison — 

Ghosts  of  the  friends 159 

The  two  leading  Essayists  of  England — What  Addison  foretold — 

Looking  at  the  same  figure  when  Pleased,  and  when  Angry .     160 

Macaulay's  character  of  Steele — Addison's  alleged  Scorn — Dis- 
puted—Ordinary source  of  Disagreement  between  the 
friends  ..........     161 

Swift's  testimony  to  equality  of  relations  between  Steele  and 

Addison 162 

Steele's  own  account  of  their  Estrangements — Plunging  into  the 
torrent,  and  Waiting  on  the  brink — Differences  of  tempera- 
ment— How  Mr.  All  worthy  made  enemies         .         .         .163 

Addison  misrepresented — Poor  Dick — Evil  effects  of  Compassion     164 

Best  way  to   Cry  a  man   down — Condescensions    of  praise — 

Captain  Plume  and  Captain  Steele 165 

Virtues  disguised  Vices — Vices  disguised  Virtues — Opinions  of 

Steele  by  Pope,  Young,  and  Lady  Mary  Montagu        .         .166 


CONTENTS.  XV 

Sir  Richard  Steele.  page 

Each  to  be  judged  by  himself — No  diminution  to  Steele  not  to  be 

Addison,  nor  to  Addison  not  to  be  Steele     .         .         .     .     167 

The  Levelling  circumstance  in  all  characters — Danger  of  putting 

it  forward — Privacies  denied  to  Public  men       .         .         .     168 

Depreciation  of  Steele's  genius — Alleged  inability  to  see  Conse- 
quences of  his  own  Project — Appointment  of  Gazetteer      .     169 

Macaulay's  account  of  Tatler  before  Addison  joined  it — No  real 

worth  until  then .    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .170 

The  Facts  stated — Conclusive  evidence  from  the  papers  them- 
selves       ..........     171 

The  First  Eighty  Tatlers — Their  freshness  and  originality  .         .     172 
Criticism  of  Shakespeare — Experiences  for  Life  as  well  as  Rules 
for  Taste — Advice  to  Tragic  Poets — Moral  Lessons  from 
Books  and  Plays 173 

Steele  first  raises  again  the  Poet  of  Paradise — Gallantry  and 

Refinement 174 

Deficiencies  in  Female  Education — True  and  false  Accomplish- 
ments— Eulogy  on  Lady  Elizabeth  Hastings  .         .         .     .     175 

Modes  of  Dying— A  hint  for  Addison — Characters  in  Steele's 
Tatlers — Wags  of  Wealth — The  Chaplain-Postilion — Uses 
of  a  Snuff-box — The  Pious  Freethinker     .         .         .         .176 

A  Shadow  of  good  Intentions — Mrs.  Jenny  Distaff — Will  Dactyle 

— Senecio — Will  Courtly — Sophronius — Jack  Dimple      .     .     177 

Sprightly  father  of  the  English  Essay— At  First  as  to  the  Last 
— Enlivening  Morality  with  Wit,  and  tempering  Wit  with 
Morality 178 

Getting  Wisdom  out  of  Trifles — Bringing  Philosophy  out  of  closets 

and  libraries  into  clubs  and  coffee-houses       .         .         .     .     179 

Steele's  distinction  from  other  wits  and  humourists — A  some- 
thing Independent  of  Authorship — The  Man  delightful       .     180 

On  Vulgarity — Not  the  condition  in  life,  but  the  sentiments  in 
that  condition — Insolence  of  the  Wealthy  in  determining  a 
man's  Character  by  his  Circumstances       .         .         .         .181 

The  only  true  distinctions — Rules  of  breeding — Entertaining  as 

if  a  Guest,  and  Doing  good  offices  as  if  Receiving  them   .     .     182 

Value  of  Reality  beyond  Appearance — Taking  care  Ourselves  of 
our  wisdom  and  virtue — Mistakes  of  the  vain  and  proud — 
Folly  of  asking  What  the  World  will  Say  .         .         .         .183 

Same   laws   for    Little  and  Great — A  lesson  from  the  Stage — 

Pope  and  Betterton — The  actors  of  our  youth        .         .     .     184 

Mr.  Bickerstaff's  visit  to  Oxford — Macaulay's  view  of  Steele's 

writings  —  "  A  pleasant  small  Drink  "  kept  too  long  .     185 

Vicissitudes  to  which  Old  Reputations  are  subject — Estimated 

value  of  a  single  Spectator  in  Sam  Johnson's  time       .         .     186 

Steele's  Fame  not  to  be  surrendered  even  to  Macaulay's — Reputa- 
tions made  classical  by  Time — Their  assailants  most  in 
peril — Steele's  affection  for  Addison     .         .         .         .     .     187 


xvi  CONTENTS. 

Sir  Richard  Steele.  page 

Self-depi*eciation — The  respect  due  to  a  noble  Modesty — Question 

put  iu  issue  by  Macaulay 188 

A  Judgment  challenged— Statue  flung  down,  but  Features  unde- 
faced— Steele's  pathos  and  refinement  of  feeling — First  pure 
prose  story-teller  in  the  language — Circulating  Libraries 
established 189 

A  domestic  interior  painted  by  Steele— Mr.  B's  courtship  and 

marriage        .........     190 

Mr.  B's  children — Isaac  Bickerstaft's  Godson — Married  life  and 

Bachelor  life 191 

Fleeting  tenure  of  This  world's  happiness — A  Death-bed  Scene 

— Affecting  Picture         .  .         .         .  .         .  .192 

Little  Novels  by  Steele — Stories  in  the  Tatler — On  Untimely 

Deaths 193 

Character  of  Addison  as  Ignotus — Definition  of  a  fine  gentleman 
• — Toleration  of  one  another's  faults — Arts  of  This  life 
made  advances  to  the  Next       .         .         .         .         .         .194 

Old  Dick  Reptile— Members  of  the  Trumpet  Club         .         .     .     195 

Easy  Friends — A  great  necessity  to  Men  of  Small  Fortunes — 
Pride  in  its  humbler  varieties — An  unfading  Portrait — An 
Insignificant  Fellow,  but  exceeding  Grracious      .         .         .196 

The   Professed  Wag — Everything  seen    in  its  lowest  aspect — 

False  applause  and  false  detraction       .         .         .         .     .     197 

On   Impudence — On  over-easiness  in  Temper — The  crafty  old 

Cit — Tom  Spindle — The  Shire-lane  pastrycook  .         .         .198 

Absurdities  in  Education  for  the  Middle  Class — The  Country 

Squire  setting  up  for  Man  of  the  Town  .         .         .         .     .     199 

The  Censorious  Lady  of  Quality — Married  Prudes — Jenny  Distaff 
and  her  Brother — The  Sisters  and  the  pair  of  Striped  Garters 
— The  Cobbler  of  Ludgate  Hill — A  hint  for  Statesmen  out  of 
business — Ponderous  politician  but  small  philosopher  ,     200 

Maltreatment  of  Authors — The  voyage  hazardous,    the  gains 

doubtful — Should  Privateers  have  licence  to  plunder  ?     .     .     201 

Character  of  the  Private  Soldier — Great  Courage  and  Small 
Hopes — Anticipation  of  the  Letters  of  heroes  of  Alma  and 
Inkermann 202 

Steele's  kind  heart  and  just  philosophy — Actual  Experiences — 
Human  habits  always  changing — Unchanging  habits  of 
lesser  creatures  ........     203 

A  Picture  of  Morning — Touching  retrospect      ....     204 

Earliest  Recollection  and  Earliest  Grief 205 


Birth  and  School  days  of  Richard  Steele — At  the  Charter  House 

— His  most  important  Acquisition  there   ....     205 

Friendship  with  Joseph   Addison — Visits  to  Addison's  father, 

the  Dean  of  Lichfield — At  Merton,  in  Oxford  .         .         .     .     206 


CONTENTS.  xvii 

Sir  Richard  Steele.  pass 

A  Comedy  burnt — Tatler's  philosophy  in  the  rough — Enlists  in 

the  Guards — Becomes  Captain  Steele         .         .         .         .207 

Writes  the  Christian  Hero — Growing   conscious  of  his  powers    208 

Objects  of  his  book — Inadequacy  of  Heathen  Morality — Putting 
life  Oflf  till  to-morrow — Not  living  Now — Characters  of 
Heathen  Antiquity — A  contrast  from  the  Bible      .         .     .     209 

The  Sermon  on  the  Mount — Inattention  to  its  teaching — Fore- 
shadowing of  the  Tatler — Not  Author  but  Companion  .     210 

Dedication  to  Lord  Cutts — Exit  Soldier,  Enter  Wit— With  Con- 

greve  at  the  St.  James's  Coffee-house  .         .         .     .      211 

His  first  Comedy — Success  of  the  Funeral — The  ungrateful 
undertaker's  'man — The  more  he  gets,  the  gladder  he 
looks — Addison's  return  from  Italy — The  Kit-Katt  Club     .     212 

Noctes  Coenseque  Deorum — Addison's  Conversation — Steele's 
happy  Criticism  of  plays  and  actors — Comparisons  of  Cibber 
and  Wilkes,  of  Bullock  and  Penkethman       .         .  .     .     213 

The  Tender  Husband  played — Addison  contributes  to  it — Writes 

the  Prologue  and  receives  the  Dedication    .         .         .         .214 

Whig  Prospects   brightening — Literattire  taking  a  stronger  tone 

— Men  of  Letters  sought  out  by  Ministers      ,         .         .     .     215 

A  Scene  in  St.  James's  Coffee-house— A  Clergyman  of  remark- 
able appearance — Encounter  with  a  booted  Squire    -         .216 

Introduction  of  Steele  and  Addison  to  Swift — Charles  Fox's 
theory  about  him — Addison's  eulogy  upon  him — His  won- 
derful Social  Charm   .         .         .  .         .         .  ..217 

The  Triumvirate — Addison's  Rosamund,  and  its  failure — Steele's 
Lying  Lover,  its  Catastrophe  and  the  cause  thereof — Harley 
makes  Steele  Gazetteer — Addison  Under-Secretary      .         .218 

Harley  quits  ofl&ce — Early  death  of  Steele's  first  wife — Marries 
again — Correspondence  with  second  wife — 400  Private  letters 
made  Public 219 

Domestic  Revelations — Courting  days — The  lady's  jealousy  of 

Addison 220 

Settlements  at  the  Marriage — Income  over-estimated — Town  and 
country  houses — Addison's  loan  of  a  thousand  pounds — 
Repaid  and  renewed — Establishment  at  Hampton  Court     .     221 

Large  expenses  and  Small  needs — Jacob   TouEon  discounting  a 

bill — Days  and  Nights  with  Addison 222 

Letters  to  Prue — Domestic  attentions  and  troubles — Character 

of  Mrs.  Richard  Steele— A  first  year  of  Wedded  Life  .         .     223 

Penalty  of  not  conforming  to  common  habits — A  husband's 
excuses — Hours  and  Minutes  of  absence  accounted  for — 
As  many  letters  as  posts  in  the  day 224 

Unabashed  Sir  Bashful — Caprices  of  Prue — Unfounded  com- 
plaints— Drawbacks  from  Beauty      ...  .     225 

Differences  pushed  into  quarrels — A  peevish  beauty  rebuked — 
What  a  woman's  Glory  should  be — Domestic  explosion — 
Mrs.  Steele's  contrition  .          .        .         .         .  .      ^     226 

h 


xvifi  CONTENTS. 

Sir  Richard  Steele.  page 

The  wits  at  Halifax's — Drinking  to  Prue  and  her  school-fellow — 
Intimacies  with  Swift — The  joke  against  Partridge — Mr. 
Isaac  Bickerstaflf 227 

The  joke  kept  up — Confusion  and  troubles  of  Mr.  Partridge — 

Steele's  distress — An  Execution  for  rent    ....     228 

Addison  appointed  Irish  Secretary — Steele  a  candidate  for  office 

— Farewell  supper — Godfather  Addison       .         .         .     .     229 

First  Number  of  the  Tatler — Swift  probably  in  the  secret — 

Addison  not  consulted — Mode  of  publication — Postage        .     230 

Extraordinary  popularity — Accounted  for  by  Gay — Not  Sub- 
serving the  vices,  but  Correcting  them — Diffusing  the 
Graces  of  Literature — Bitter  drop  in  the  cup        .         .     .     231 

Weakness  of  Ministry — Eeturn  of  Addison — Whig  anxieties  to 

secure  Swift 232 

The  Sacheverell  trial — Whigs  falling — Steele  made  Commissioner 
of  Stamps — Warnings  disregarded — Swift  in  London — 
Harley  and  St.  John  in  Office — The  Gazette  taken  from 
Steele 233 

Swift  leaves  the  Whigs — Keeps  up  intercourse  with  Whig  friends 
— Officiates  at  Christening  at  St.  James's  Coffee-house — 
Requested  by  Harley  not  to  write  for  Steele      ,         .         .     234 

Last  Number  of  the  Tatler — Steele's  interview  with  Harley — 

First  Number  of  the  Spectator 235 

Swift's  opinion  of  Spectator — Steele's  Sketches  for  the  Coverley 

Papers 236 

Equal  participation  with  Addison — The  Editorship — Traditions 

of  the  Printing  Office 237 

Steele's  leading  papers  particularised — Suggestion  of  the  Jealous 

Wife— Dick  Eastcourt 238 

Wonderful  Success — Sale  of  the  Numbers — Effect  of  Boling- 
broke's  Stamp — Last  Number  of  Spectator— First  Number 
of  Guardian — Mr.  Pope  contributes 239 

Steele's  quarrel  with  Swift — Handsome  retort — Steele's  dispute 

about  Things — Swift's  about  Persons        ....     240 

Steele  surrenders  Commissionership  of  Stamps  and  enters  House 

of  Commons — Publication  of  the  Crisis          .         .         .     .     241 

Steele's  Defence  at  Bar  of  the  House — Expelled  from  the  House 
— Death  of  the  Queen— Fall  of  Oxford  and  Bolingbroke 
— Whig  appointments 242 

Steele's  office  in  the  Theatre  Royal — Gratitude  of  the  Players — 

Politicians  less  grateful — Member  for  Boroughbridge     .     .     243 

Oratory  in  the  House  of  Commons — Steele  characterises  it — 
Views  of  public  questions — Opposition  to  High  Church 
party    .         .         . 244 

Conduct  in  the  House — On  Schism  Bill — Toleration  to  Catholics 
— Mercy  to  Jacobites — South  Sea  Scheme — Walpole's  propo- 
sition on  the  Debt — Sunderland's  Peerage  Bill — Deprived  of 
his  Drury  Lane  appointment      .         .         .         .         .     .     245 


CONTENTS. 


Sir  Richard  Steele. 


Complaint  to  his  wife — Interceding  for  South  Sea  Directors — 

Dull  Mr.  William  Whiston 246 

Treatment  of  Steele  by  the  Whigs — Service  in  times  of  Danger 

forgotten — Apologue  of  Husbandman  and  Bridge .         .     .     247 

Everyone^s   Friend  but  his   own — Social  Impressions    against 

Moral  Resolutions — No  Example  of  Improvidence  for  others     248 

Bishop  Hoadly — At  a  Whig  Festivity  with  Steele — Visiting  at 
Blenheim — Amateur  play — Stories  of  Steele  told  to  John- 
son— A  Pamphlet  written  for  a  Dinner        .         .         .     .     249 

Bailiffs  in  Livery — Addison's  Enforcement  of  Steele's  Bond — 
Probable  explanation — Improbable  suggestions — Entertain- 
ment in  York  Buildings 250 

Addison  Secretary  of  State — Steele  dining  with  him — Appointed 
Commissioner  of  Scotch  Forfeited  Estates — His  later  mar- 
ried life — Boys  and  Girls — Alternate  Sunshine  and  Storm 
with  Prue — Mistress  Moll  and  Madam  Betty,  Eugene  and 
Dick 251 

Last  letters  to  Prue— Her  death — His  Later  public  life — Comedy 

of  the  Conscious  Lovers — Difference  with  Addison         .     .     252 

A  Summer's  Evening  Scene  in  Wales — Steele  in  his  Invalid 

Chair— Death 253 


IV.     CHARLES  CHURCHILL.     1731—1764. 

(From  the  Edinburgh  Review,  January  1845.  With  Additions.)  265 — 328. 

An  Editor's  bad  example — Tendency  of  remarks  on  Individuals 

— Too  much  either  of  blame  or  praise 255 

Editorial  Deficiencies — Dead  hand  at  a  Life,  and  not  Lively  at  a 
Note — Dr.  Brown  and  Jeremy  Bentham — Dr.  Francklin's 
Sophocles 256 

Ambition  of  a  young  Solicitor  to  Edit  a  Satirist — A  worthy  Task 

ill-done — Unfortunate  Criticism       .         .         .         .         .257 

Editorial  blunders — Garth  and  his  friend  Codrington — The  two 
Doctors  William  King — The  two  Bishops  Parker — Grave 
correction  of  a  Joke  by  Addison — Tom  Davies  and  T.  Davis 
— Premature  putting  to  death  of  Churchill's  brother  John  .     258 

Self-Contradictions — Curacy  in  Wales — Failure  in  trade — Re- 
pulse at  Oxford — Admiration  for  Croly        .         .         .     .     259 

Contempt  for  Wordsworths  and  Coleridges — Attacks  upon  Noble 

Authors — Elegant  extracts 260 


Charles  Churchill  bom  —Two  races  of  men — Dryden's  Cromwell 
and  Shaftesbury,  Churchill's  Wilkes  and  Sandwich — 
Churchill's  Father — Designs  him  for  the  Church  .         .     .     261 

b  2 


XX  CONTENTS. 

Charles  Churchill.  page 

Places  him  at  Westminster — The  Masters  there— School-days  and 
School -fellows — Stands  by  Cowper  now,  and  Cowper  after- 
wards by  him — Colman,  Cumberland,  and  Warren  Hast- 
ings     .         .         • 262 

Small  poets  at  Westminster — Taggers  of  verse  increasing  and 

multiplying — A  Poetical  Murrain — A  Profession  ill-chosen     263 

Honours  at  School — Imprudent  Marriage — Rejection  at  Oxford 

— Domestic   disagreements 264 

Entered  at  Trinity  in  Cambridge — Qualifying  for  Orders — Visit 

to  London — Ordained 265 

Curate  of  Rainham — Forty  Pounds  a-year — Opens  a  school — 
Death  of  his  father — Elected  Curate  of  St.  John's  in  West- 
minster— Teaching  in  a  Lady's  Boarding  School     .         .     .     266 

In  the  Pulpit — Ill-success — His    own  admissions— His    heart 

never  with  his  profession 267 

His  Character  consistent  with  Itself — Alleged  contradictions  dis- 
puted— Churchill's  claim  to  fairer  judgments         .         .     .     268 

Wish  to  leave  the  Church — Early  temptations  revived — Old 
School-fellows  established  as  Town  wits — Result  of  ill-con- 
considered  Marriage — Ruin  impending — A  Friendly  Hand 
stretched  forth 269 

Determines  to  embark  in  Literature — The  Bard  and  The  Con- 
clave rejected  by  booksellers — Both  destroyed — The  Rosciad 
completed — Booksellers  will  not  have  it — Publishes  it  him- 
self—A great  Hit 270 

The  Town  startled — Example  of  Churchill's  power — A  Character 

without  a  Name 271 

Full  length  of  a  Fribble — Fitzpatrick — Lawyer  Wedderburne    .  272 

Pictures  of  Players — Yates,   Sparks,  Smith,  Ross,  and  Mossop  273 

Barry,  and  Quin 274 

Havard  and  Davies — David  Garrick— The  Chair  assigned  to  him  275 

Satire  a  looking-glass  for  reflection  of  all  faces  but  our  own — 
Players  running  about  like  Stricken  Deer — Grieving  for 
their  friends,  not  for  themselves — The  universal  question 
Who  is  he? — Answered  by  the  Critical  Reviewers      .         .     276 

Churchill  criticises  his  Critics — His  Apology — Depreciation  of 
the  Stage — Smollett  fiercely  attacked— Garrick  rudely 
warned     .         . 277 

Description  of  the  Strollers — Imitated  by  Crabbe     .         .         .278 

Garrick's  fright— Smollett's  disclaimer  of  Attack  on  Churchill — 
Garrick's  request  for  Lloyd's  intercession — Manager  and 
Poet  reconciled 279 

Warburton's  allusion  to  the  Rosciad— Garrick's  brethren  of  the 
Stage — Attacks  on  the  Satirist — Anti-Rosciads,  Trium- 
virates, Examiners,  and  Churchilliads — Scene  in  Bedford 
Coffee-house 280 

Foote's  Lampoon — Murphy's  Ode— Churchill's  seat  in  the  Drury 


CONTENTS.  xxi 

Charles  Churchill.  page 

Lane  pit— Watched  from  the  Stage  by  the  actors— Fright 
ofTomDavies 281 

Pope's  precautions  against  his  Victims — Contrasted  with 
Chnrchill's — Personal  Bravado — War  with  the  Hypocrisies 
carried  too  far 282 

Remonstrances  of  Dean  Pearce  and  Churchill's  replies — Pa- 
rishioners remonstrate,  and  he  resigns  his  living — Generous 
uses  of  newly  acquired  wealth 283 

Epistle    to   Lloyd — Armstrong's    attack    in    Day — Churchill's 

answer  in  Night — Allusion  to  Pitt 284 

Wilkes  seeks  Churchill — Character  and  Antecedents — Alliance 

Offensive  and  Defensive — Violent  Party-Spirit  reawakened     285 

Bute  a  Privy  Councillor — Court    Practices  and    Intrigues — 

Tamperings  with  Elections 286 

Prospects  and  Requisites  for  a  Demagogue — Compact  between 
Wilkes  and  Churchill — Honesty  of  it  on  the  poet's  side — 
Medmenham  Abbey  Scandals 287 

Excuses  and  disadvantages  of  a  Satirist — Evil  influences  of  the 

Time — Churchill's  claims  to  Respect  .         .         .         .288 

Morality  of  his  Satire — Contrast  with  Hanbury  Williams's  Inde- 
cencies and  Lampoons — New  fashions  in  Verse — Durability 
of  the  Old 289 

Publication   of  First  Book  of  the   Ghost — Poetical   Tristram 

Shandy — Poet-laureate  Whitehead's  fine-gentleman  airs     .     290 

Comparative  Failure  in  eight-syllable  verse — Constantly  recur- 
ring necessity  of  rhyme — Tends  to  diffuseness — More  suc- 
cessful in  Duellist — Piqued  by  a  Subject — Bishop  War- 
bui-ton 291 

Tribunes  of  the  People — Doings  of  the  Court — Pitt  turned  out, 
and  Bute  Prime-Minister — Dashwood  a  Minister  and  Bubb 
Dodington  a  Lord 292 

The  Briton  established  by  Bute— The  North  Briton  established 

by  WUkes— A  Match  to  a  Train 293 

Churchill  helps  in  the  Explosion — Satirises  the  Scotch  in  the 

Prophecy  of  Famine — Whig  raptures        .         .         .         .294 

Tory  terrors — Exultation  of  the  Satirist — A  fresh  Plague  for 

the  Scotch — Tributes  to  the  New  Poem         .         .         .     .     295 

Its  witty  and  masterly  exaggerations — Resemblances  to  Dryden 

and  Marvel .         .296 

The  Highland  Lass  and  her  Lover — A  Starved  Scene — The  Cave 

of  Famine  .........     297 

Ingenuity  of  Praise — Supposing  what  is  Not  Prose  to  be  Poetry 
— Sudden  Popularity — Recommended  to  return  to  Church 
— Benefices  in  Prospect 298 

Manly  self-assertion— Above  temptation — Not  lacking  prefer- 
ment— Dislike  of  the  Aristocracy         ...         .     .     299 


xxii  CONTENTS. 

Charles  Churchill.  page 

Horace  Walpole's  picture  of  him — Private  life — Fierce  Extremes 

— Resignation  of  Bute — Sandwich  and  Halifax  in  office      .     300 

No.  45  of  North  Briton— General  Warrants  for  arrest  of  Wilkes 
and  Churchill — Great  questions  arising  out  of  them — 
Wilkes's  arrest  and  Churchill's  escape 301 

The  Trial  before  Chief  Justice  Pratt— Hogarth  in  the  Court 
sketching  Wilkes — Publishes  his  Caricature — Anger  of 
Churchill      .         .  ■ 302 

The  Epistle  to  Hogarth — Heavy  hitting — Unpublished  Letter  of 

ChurchiU 303 

Character  of  the  Epistle — The  Man  savagely  attacked,  but  the 

Genius  spared — Tribute  to  Hogarth's  greatness  ,         .     304 

Garrick's  opinion — Lord  Bath's — General  excitement — Hogarth's 

Rejoinder — Print  of  Churchill  as  the  Bear  .         .         .     ,     305 

Churchill  meditates  further  attack — Refrains  on  a  lady's  sug- 
gestion— Reconciliation  with  Hogarth  prevented  by  death — 
Churchill's  Mistress — Origin  of  the  Connection — Walpole's 
account,  and  Southey's 306 

Churchill's  expressions  of  Remorse — His  Poem  of  the  Conference 

— Affecting  self-references  .......     307 

Unequal  conflict  of  Vice  and  Virtue — Appeal  on  Churchill's 

behalf 308 

Anecdote  from  Adventures  of  a  Guinea — Conduct  to  an  Unfor- 
tunate— Offices  of  the  Good  Samaritan         .         .         .     .     309 

Absence  from  London — Robert  Lloyd's  imprisonment — Churchill's 
grateful  kindness — Goes  to  him  in  the  Fleet — Supports 
him — Gets  up  subscription  for  his  release — A  true  poet      .     310 

Specimens  of  his  Poetry  apart  from  his  Satire — On  the  Conquests 

in  America 311 

His  Five  Ages — Infancy,  Childhood,  Youth,  Manhood,  and  Old 

Age 312 

Paraphrase  of  Isaiah — Charming  repetitions — A  suggestion  for 

Bums — The  North  Briton  burnt — Wilkes  prosecuted .         .     313 

Sandwich's  Display  in  the  House  of  Lords — ^Warburton's  assault 

— Resolve  to  expel  Wilkes  from  the  House  of  Commons    .     314 

Ministerial  prosecution  drives  him  into  France — The  Duellist 
published — Wilkes's  Scheme  to  get  help  from  French  Go- 
vernment— Opposed  by  Churchill — His  fame  abroad  .         .     315 

Manner  of  Composition — Haste^  yet  Care — Avoids  Literary  So- 
ciety— Dr.  Johnson  corrects  his  fii'st  opinion  of  him — Not 
so  bad  as  he  seemed 316 

Establishment  at  Acton  Common — Mode  of  living— Greediness 
of  gain  imputed  to  him — Cowper's  reply  to  that  objection — 
Tribute  to  old  school-fellow  in  the  Table  Talk  .         .         .317 

The  Author  published— Horace  Walpole's  admiration         .     .     318 

Praise  of  the  Critics — Appearance  of  Gotham — Idea  of  a  Patriot 

King  in  Verse — Descriptive  Poetry  of  a  high  order    ,         .319 


CONTENTS.  xxiii 

Charles  CIiurcMIl.  page 

Gotham  less  successful  than  the  Personal  Satires — Dryden's 
Religio  Laici  less  attractive  than  MacFlecknoe — Bookseller 
Johnson  to  his  son  Samuel 320 

A  Subject  for  a  Satire — Lord  Sandwich  a  Candidate  for  High 
Stewardship  of  Cambridge — Churchill  publishes  The  Candi- 
date       321 

Churchill's  character  of  Sandwich  compared  with  Dryden's  of 
Buckingham — Appearance  of  The  Farewell,  The  Times,  and 
Independence .     322 

What  is  a  Lord — Churchill's  self-painted  portrait — Plays  the 
Hogarth  to  his  own  defects — Last  unfinished  Poem — His 
Dedication  to  Wai-burton — Hogarth  on  his  death-bed        .     323 

Churchill's  strange  anticipation  of  his  own  impending  fate — 
Goes  hastily  to  Boulogne — Illness  seizes  him — Wilkes  and 
other  friends  summoned.      .         .         .         .         .         .     •     324 

Dictates  his  will — Dies — Garrick's  comment — His  first  emotion 

not  grief 325 

Penalties  of  Popularity — Forged  Letters — Charles  Lloyd's  and 
Sister  Patty's  grief — Two  broken  hearts  at  Churchill's 
grave — Wilkes's  Professions  of  grief    .....     326 

What  Wilkes  will  do  for  his  friend — What  Wilkes  really  did  for 
his  friend — Churchill's  body  brought  over  to  Dover— Tablet 
to  his  Memory        ........     327 

Lord  Byron  at  Churchill's  grave — Moralizes  on  the  Glory  and  the 

Nothing  of  a  Name 328 


V.  SAMUEL  FOOTE.  1720-  1777. 

(From  the  Quarterly  Review,  September  1854.  With  Additions. )  329—462. 

A  Joker's  reputation— Lives  and  dies  in  a  Generation — The  Wit 

of  one  reign  the  Bore  of  the  reign  succeeding    .         .         .     329 

Laughter* s  losing  race  against  the  Decorums — Swift  tripped  up 
by  Tale  of  a  Tub— Men  of  great  social  repute  denied  any 
other — Books  upon  English  Humourists  and  Satirists — 
Foote  omitted  330 

A  forgotten  Name — What  it  once  expressed — A  terrible  and 
delightful  Reality— Various  emotions  inspired  by  his  writ- 
ings     ..........     331 

What  Foote  claimed  for  his  Comedies — Claim  not  admitted — 
Johnson's  sarcasm  against  him — Adopted  by  writers  since — 
Walter  Scott's  opinion — Macaulay's         ....     332 

Reasons  for  disputing  them — Unfavourable  effect  of  Foote's 
acting  on  his  literary  reputation — Introduction  of  real  cha- 
racters justified  by  Vanbrugh,  Farquhar,  and  Moliere  .     .     333 

Limits  of  the  strictly  Personal  in  satire— Intention  of  writer  lost 


xxiv  CONTENTS. 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

in  mimickry  of  actor— Endeavour  to  explain  Foote's  title 

to  the  fame  he  acquired         .         .         .         .         .         ,     334 

Readiness  of  his  Humour — Impossible  to  put  him  at  Disadvant- 
age— Specimens  of  his  Wit — At  White's  Club — In  Macklin's 
lecture-room — At  his  friend  Delaval's  .         .         .     .     335 

At  Lord  Stormont's — Abating  and  dissolving  Pompous  Gentle- 
men— Hint  to  Hugh  Kelly — The  foolish  Duke  of  Cumber- 
land— Jokes  worth  remembering 336 

Haunted  by  a  Murdered  tune — Old  Cornish  parson  with  his 
Glebe  in  his  hands — Among  Mrs.  Montagu's  blue-stockings 
— A  doctor  with  too  many  irons  in  the  fire  — A  mercantile 
gentleman's  poem .     337 

Foote  compared  with  Quin  and  Garrick — Johnson's  opinion  of 
Foote's  Incompressibility — Might  serve  for  description  of 
Falstaff's  wit — Genius  for  Escape 338 

Foote's  mimickry  a  peculiar  power — Dangers  incident  to  its  ex- 
ercise— Hard  for  what  is  brimful  not  to  run  over — Tyranny 
in  the  Habit  of  jesting — Startling  introduction  to  a  Club  of 
Wits         ..........     339 


Samuel  Foote  born  at  Truro — His  father  an  active  magistrate — 

His  mother  a  woman  of  fortune — Resemblances  to  her  son     340 

A  boy  at  Worcester  collegiate  school — Mimickry  of  grown-up 
people — First  in  all  pranks  against  authority — Talent  for 
making  fun  of  Elders  and  Superiors         ....     341 

Student  at  Oxford — Acting  Punch — Other  extravagances — 
Making  fun  of  Provost  Gower — Outrage  of  University  dis- 
cipline—Quits  Oxford — Enters  of  the  Temple— Why  designed 
for  a  lawyer — Imaginary  Affiliation  Case       .         .         .     .     342 

Startling  Tragedy — Close  of  a  Family  Quarrel— One  of  his  Uncles 

procures  the  other  to  be  Murdered 343 

Captain  Goodere  RN  hanged,  and  Foote  gets  part  of  the 
estate  of  Sir  John  Dinely  Goodere,  Bart — Makes  a  figure 
in  London  clubs  and  taverns — Vicinity  of  Theatres  still  head 
quarters  of  Wit — First  appearance  at  the  Bedford  .         .     .     344 

Two  years  of  dissipation — Renting  the  Worcestershire  Family 
Seat — In  the  Fleet— Murphy's  cheerful  day  with  him 
there 345 

His  alleged  first  essay  in  Authorship — Pamphlet  on  the  Catas- 
trophe of  his  Uncles — Account  of  it 346 

Meeting  with  old  Oxford  Fellow  students — Witty  concealment  of 

defective  wardrobe — Succeeds  to  a  Second  Fortune      .        .347 

Tradition  of  his  Marriage,  and  a  ghostly  serenade — Reasons  for 
doubting  it — A  laughing  Excuse  for  Bachelorhood — The 
Second  Fortune  spent — Reappears  at  the  Bedford  .         .     .     348 

Another  accession  to  the  circle — Poor  young  Collins— The  laugh 

turned  against  Foote — Garrick's  sudden  success  .         .349 


CONTENTS.  XXV 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

Raging  of  Theatrical  Factions — Active  part  taken  by  Macklin 

and  Foote — Form  a  third  party  among  the  Critics  .         .     .     350 

Foote's  theatrical  writings — Treatise  on  the  Passions — Essays  on 
Comedy  and  Tragedy — Necessity  of  making  provision  for 
himself — Taste  for  the  Stage — Consults  his  friends  the 
Delavals 351 

Joins  Macklin  and  the  Actors  against  Gamck  and  the  Patentees 
— Appears  at  Haymarket — Why  Debutants  select  Othello — 
Garrick's  failure  in  it — Pompey  and  the  Tea-tray — Mr. 
Pope's  nod  of  approval  to  Macklin 352 

Foote's  doubtful  reception  in  Othello — His  second  character 
more  successful — Lord  Foppington — Hints  from  Gibber — 
Goes  over  to  Dublin — His  Wit  more  remembered  there  than 
his  Acting 353 

Returns  to  Drury  Lane — Characters  played  in  his  first  season — 
Sir  Harry  Wildair,  Lord  Foppington,  Tinsel,  Sir  Novelty 
Fashion,  Sir  Courtley  Nice,  Younger  Loveless,  Dick  Amlet, 
Bayes — Fits  his  own  humourous  peculiarities     .         .         .354 

His  personal  appearance — Garrick  Club  Dramatic  Portraits — 
Nineveh  of  a  Lost  Art — Reynolds's  poi-trait  of  Foote — Tra- 
ditions of  Bayes — Garrick's  innovations  condemned  by 
Cibber  and  Lord  Chesterfield 355 

Foote's  performance  of  Bayes — Imitates  actors — Satirizes  poli- 
ticians— His  Improvised  Additions  suggest  a  New  Enter- 
tainment— Diversions  of  the  Morning        ....     356 

Its  extraordinary  effect — Epilogue  of  the  Bedford  Coffee-house 
— Name  of  English  Aristophanes  given  to  Foote — Actors 
take  up  arms  against  their  assailant    .         .         ...     357 

Licensing  Act  applied  against  him — Constables  put  it  in  force — 
Invites  his  friends  to  Morning  Chocolate — Sir  Dilbury  Diddle 
and  Lady  Betty  Frisk — No  more  Magistrates'  Warrants     .     358 

Mr.  Foote's    Morning    Chocolate — Entertainment    described — 

Troop  of  Actors  brought  together — Castallo  and  Ned  Shuter     359 

Actors  complaints  jested  off — Foote  no  longer  opposed — Changes 
his  Morning  entertainment  into  Evening — Mr.  Foote's 
Tea — An  offer  from  Covent  Garden  —  Foote's  Auction 
of  Pictures 360 

Its  run  at  Haymarket — Interrupted  by  Bottle  Conjuror — The 
Duke  of  Montagu's  hoax — New  Lots  at  the  Auction — The 
Great  Weakness  of  the  day — Agencies  for  all  Deceptions    361 

Foote's  picture  of  an  Auctioneer — Everything  alike  to  him,  and 
be  alike  in  everything — As  eloquent  on  a  Ribbon  as  on  a 
Raffaele — Vehicle  for  personal  and  public  Satire    .         .     .     362 

Mixed  feelings  provoked — Deference,  Fear,  and  Popularity — 
Distinction  between  his  unpublished  and  his  published 
pieces — The  question  stated  as  to  Individual  Satire — Doubts 
involved — Limits  of  Legitimate  Comedy  ....     363 

Foote's  first   published  piece — The   Knights — Happy  medium 

between  farce  and  comedy — Dialogue  and  Character       .     .     364 


CONTENTS. 


Samuel  Foote. 


Sir  Penurious  Trifle  and  Sir  Gregory  Gazette— Wealthy  Miser 

and  Country  Quidnunc — Personal  introduction  .         .         .     365 

A  proposed  Treaty  with  the  Pope  imparted  to  Sir  Gregory — How 
we  are  all  to  be  made  of  One  Mind — Sir  Gregory's  exulta- 
tation ...     366 

Copies  from  Life — No  Vampings  from  Antiquated  plays  or  Pil- 

feriiigs  from  French  farces— Sir  Penurious  played  by  Foote     367 

Woodward  the  Comedian  threatens  Tit  for  Tat — The  Mimic  sen- 
sitive to  Mimickry — Sarcastic  letter  to  Garrick  and  Gar- 
rick's  reply     .....  ...     368 

Fitful  intercourse  of  Foote  and  Garrick — The  men  marked  out 
for  Rivalry — Foote  the  most  frequent  aggressor — Garrick' s 


369 


Garrick's  alleged  love  of  money — Foote's  Jokes  thereon — A  Thief 
in  the  Candle— The  Captain  of  the  Four  Winds— The  bust 
on  Foote's  Bureau 370 

A  Guinea  going  far — Friendly  feeling  underlying  Sarcasm — In- 
tercourse uninterrupted  by  the  Laugh — Garrick  in  Foote's 
Green-room 371 

The  Hampton  Temple  to  Shakespeare — Players  not  invited  to 
the  Libations  —  Principle  of  not  losing  Friend  for  Joke, 
unless  Joke  be  better  than  Friend — Foote's  ready  Scholarship     372 

At  dinner  with  Charles  Fox  and  his  friends — Takes  the  lead  in 
Conversation — Johnson's  rebuke  to  Boswell  for  underrating 
him — Ti-ibute  to  his  powers — Foote  and  Garrick  at  Chief 
Justice  Mansfield's  table — Advantages  of  Not  Paying  one's 
Debts 373 

Foote's  introduction  to  Johnson — The  dinner  at  Fitzherbert's — 

Johnson's  resolve  Not  to  be  pleased,  and  What  came  of  it    .     374 

Johnson  at  Foote's  dinner-table — ^With  Foote  in  Bedlam — Enjoy- 
ment of  Foote's  sayings — Sleeping  partnership  in  a  brewery     375 

The  little  black  boy  and  Foote's  small  beer — His  Third  Fortune 
spent — Companionship  with  the  Delavals — A  scandal  re- 
ported by  Walpole 376 

Change  of  Scene  necessary — Visit  to  the  Continent — Return  to 
London — Garrick  produces  his  Comedy  of  Taste — Dedica- 
tion to  Sir  Francis  Delaval 377 

Pope's  Jemmy  Worsdale — Profits  of  Taste  given  to  him — Design 
of  the  Comedy — Ridicule  of  false  not  of  true  connoisseur- 
ship — Appreciation  of  Rafifaele  as  well  as  of  Hogarth — Old 
Master  Carmine 378 

His    antecedents — Mr.    Pufi"    discovers    him — Manufacture    of 

Guides — Profits  how  distributed 379 

Fashionable  portrait  painting — Lady  Pentweazle  sits  for  her 
picture — The  part  played  by  Worsdale — Calling  up  a  Look 
—Criticism  by  Mr.  Puff 380 

Foote  again  upon  the  Stage — His  Englishman  in  Paris — With 
Garrick  in  France — Strange  reports  about  him — Gairick's 
Prologue 381 


CONTENTS.  xxvii 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

Keception  in  London— Congreve's  Ben  and  Farqnhar's  Captain 
Brazen  added  to  his  parts — At  the  Haymarket  laughing  at 
Macklin — Engagement  at  Covent-garden  ....     382 

Plays  his  own  Lady  Pentweazle  and  Congreve's  Sir  Paul  Plyant 
— Advertised  for  Polonius — The  Englishman  returned  from 
Paris 383 

Satire  on  the  French — A  John  Bull  view  of  French  fashions  and 

foibles  in  1754— Moral  for  the  True  Briton        .         .         .384 

Foote  again  at  the  Bedford — Macklin  removed  to  the  Tavistock 
— His  three  shilling  Ordinary  and  shilling  Lecture — Oppor- 
tunities for  Foote  in  Macklins  lecture-room — Laughs  at  the 
Lectures — On  the  Irish  Duel 385 

On  Memory  by  Rote — The  great  She-bear  and  the  Barber — The 
Grand  Panjandrum — Foote  establishes  a  Summer  Lecture 
of  his  own 386 

Haymarket  tragedy  after  the  Greek  manner — Haymarket  Lec- 
ture crowded — Macklin's  shut  up — Foote's  friendship  with 
Arthur  Murphy — Their  early  intercourse     .         .         .     .     387 

First  night  of  Orphan  of  China — A  Dinner  with  Hogarth  and 
Delaval— Hearing  Pitt  in  House  of  Commons — Misunder- 
standing          388 

Murphy  puts  Foote  into  a  comedy — Intended  posthumous  ridicule 
of  his  friend's  failings — Comedy  of  the  Author  produced — 
Its  character  and  merits 389 

Absence  of  all  pretence  in  Foote's  writings — Neither  false  senti- 
ment nor  affected  language — No  face-making — Reality  of 
the  Satire — Perfection  of  Comic  Dialogue     .         .         .     .     390 

Absurdity  of  comparison  with  Aristophanes — But  some  qualities 
shared  with  the  Greek — Athens  in  age  of  Pericles,  and 
London  in  time  of  Bubb  Dodington — Old  Vamp  of  Turn- 
stile— A  Patron  and  Protector  of  Authors         .         .         .     391 

Mr.  Vamp's  clients — Harry  Handy  and  Mr.  Cape— Vamp's 
grandson  in  training  for  a  politician — Foote's  Author  a 
Gentleman 392 

Introduction  of  Mr.  Cadwallader — The  part  played  by  Foote     .     393 

Shout  of  surprise  at  his  appearance — Dressed  at  a  Real  person 
— His  double  sitting  in  the  Boxes — Mr.  Ap-Rice  laughs  at 
the  caricature  of  himself — Popularity  of  the  Author — • 
Kitty  Olive's  Becky 394 

Inconvenient  results  for  Mr,  Ap-Rice — Moves  the  Lord  Cham- 
berlain against  Foote  —  The  Author  suppressed  —  Lord 
Chamberlain's  subsequent  concession  of  Haymarket  licence     395 

Failure  in  Dublin  of  the  first  Sketch  of  the  Minor — The  Irish 
Engagement — Tate  Wilkinson  picked  up  by  Shuter — Foote 
takes  him  to  Dublin — How  they  journeyed  there  .         .     .     396 

Wilkinson's  recollections  of  Foote — Their  worthlessness — Secret 
of  the  failure  to  depict  men  of  genius — They  contain  what 
you  can  find  in  them,  no  less  or  more        ....     397 


xxviii  CONTENTS. 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

Odd  adventure  in  Dublin — Foote  playing  the  Conjm'or — Taken 
ojff  by  Wilkinson — Entertainment  of  Tea  with  his  ptipil — 
Its  popularity 398 

Foote' s  reception  at  the  Castle — Rehearsing  Minor  -with  Mr. 
Rigby — Its  failure  on  Dublin  stage — His  reappearance  at  the 
Bedford  in  London — Twitted  with  the  failure — Foote  de- 
fends his  attack  on  Whitfield   ......     399 

The  great  Leader  of  the  Methodists  in  his  pulpit — His  audiences 
at  Hampton  Common  and  Moorfields — Effecting  for  Low 
Church  what  Puseyism  attempts  for  High  Church — Making 
religion  vital  in  direction  of  Calvinism  .         .         .     .     400 

Drawbacks  and  disadvantages — Scorn    of  the  Chesterfields  and 

Walpoles — Foote's  unsparing  attack  ....     401 

His  character  of  Mrs.  Cole — An  edified   member  of  Mr.  Squin- 

tum's  congregation — Purpose  of  the  satire     .         .         .     .     402 

Extraordinary  success  of  the  Minor  in  London — Foote  doubles 
Mrs.  Cole  and  Mr.  Smirk — Effort  to  stop  the  performance — 
Lord  Chamberlain  refuses  to  interfere — The  Archbishop  of 
Canterbuiy  appealed  to — Declines  to  meddle — Attack  by 
Whitfield's  friends — Foote's  reply    .          '         .         .         .     403 

Anachronisms  in  his  pamphlet — No  disproof  of  his  scholarship 

— Recollections  of  him  at  Eton  acting  in  Greek  plays    .     .     404 

Argument  against  abolishing  what  is  Grood  because  pervertible  to 
Bad — Foote  exhibits  Thespis  and  Whitfield  in  their  respec- 
tive Carts — Asserts  the  claim  of  Minor  to  be  called  Comedy 
not  Farce — Comedy  not  dependent  on  number  of  acts         .       405 

Hints  taken  by  Sheridan  and  Holcroft  from  Foote's  Minor — 
Original  of  Little  Moses  and  his  friend  Premium — The  brisk 
Mr.  Smirk — Pleasant  but  Wrong 406 

Sam  Shift  the  Link-boy — Experiences  of  the  World  in  Avenues 
of  the  playhouse — Taken  into  Whimsical  Man's  service — 
Sets  up  for  himself — Laugh  at  Tate  Wilkinson   .         .         .     407 

Keen  knowledge  of  character — General  Characteristics  in  Par- 
cular  Forms— The  family  of  the  Wealthys— As  good  as  a 
Picture  by  Hogarth '     .     408 

Crop-eared  'prentices  of  Past  Generation  compared  with  Modem 
City  lads — The  Old  country  gentleman  with  the  Modern 
man  of  fashion — Foote's  increase  of  reputation  from  The 
Minor— Joint-Manager  of  Drury-Lane  with  Murphy  .         .     409 

Production  of  the  Liar — A  Laugh  for  Goldsmith— Sketch  from 

the  Life  of  a  Monthly  Reviewer 410 

Production  of  Bentley's  Comedy  of  the  Wishes — Private  Rehear- 
sal at  Bubb  Dodington's — Bute  and  other  great  Folk  present 
—Proposed  Prologue,  and  its  Flattery  of  the  Young  King 
and  the  Favorite — Foote  refuses  to  speak  it — Too  strong     .     411 

Laugh  at  Bubb  Dodington  in  the  Patron— Its  happy  leading 

notion — Character  of  Sir  Thomas  Lofty    .         .         .         .412 

His  Chorus  of  Flatterers— Patronage   of  Bad  poets  as  vile  as 

Neglect  of  Good  ones— The  Damned  Play  and  its  Author    .     413 


CONTENTS.  xxix 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

Hints  for  Sir  Fretful  Plagiary — Foote  doubles  Sir  Thomas  Lofty 

with  Sir  Peter  Pepperpot 414 

A  Laugh  at  the  Society  of  Antiquaries — Resemblance  of  Miss 
Lofty  to  Bust  of  the  Princess  Poppsea  —Weston's  acting  in 
Martin  Rust      ...         - 415 

Sketches  of  Underling  Bards  and  Hack  Booksellers — Mr,  Dactyl 
and  Mr.  Puff — A  Garretteer  in  Wine-oflfice  Court — Existing 
relations  of  Literature  and  Publishing       .         .         ,         .416 

A  self-important  personage — Mi-.  Alderman  Faulkner — Lord 
Chesterfield — Faulkner  introduced  in  The  Orators — His 
wooden  leg — A  caricature  of  a  caricature — Foote's  subse- 
quent causes  for  regret  417 

Mr.  Peter  Paragraph  played  by  Foote — Ridicule  of  Spirit  Rap- 
pings— Cock  Lane  Ghost 418 

Speakers  at  the  Robin  Hood — The  respected  Gentleman  in  the 
Sleeves — Lord  Chesterfield  ironically  advises  Faulkner  to 
prosecute  Foote — The  advice  taken  gravely — Action  tried 
in  Dublin 419 

Foote  puts  Jury,  Counsel,  and  Judge,  into  an  interpolated  scene 
in  The  Orators— Produces  the  Mayor  of  Garrett— Carica- 
tures the  Duke  of  Newcastle  and  Justice  Lamb      .         .     .     420 

Wit  and  entertainment  of  the  Mayor  of  Garrett — Major  Sturgeon, 
Jerry  Sneak,  Matthew  Mug,  and  Peter  Primer  —Its  success, 
and  Mr.  Whitehead's  opinion  thereupon    ....     421 

Foote  produces  The  Commissary — Aimed  at  the  successful  army 
contractors  of  the  Seven  Years'  War— Copies  Moliere  and 
laughs  at  Dr.  Arne — Reader  introduced  to  Mrs.  Mechlin     .     422 

Her  commodities  and  customers — New  lights  in  match-making 

— Marriage  of  the  Macaroni  parson  Dodd  satirised      .         .     423 

Illustrations    from    Walpole's    Letters — Charles   Fox's   actual 

Mrs.  Mechlin — Reality  of  Foote's  satire        .         .         .     .     424 

Foote  at  highest  point  of  his  fortune — Splendid  seasons  at  Hay- 
market — His  vogue  in  Paris — His  fashionable  life  in  London 
— Wide  range   of  his   celebrity — The  Boys  invite  him  to 
Eton 425 

His  respect  for  literary  men — Gray,  Mason,  and  Goldsmith — 
Duke  of  York  visits  him — He  visits  Lord  Mexborough — 
Accident  in  hunting — His  leg  amputated  ....     426 

Touching  correspondence  with  Garrick — Lord  Chesterfield's  an- 
nouncement to  Faulkner 427 

Kindness  of  the  Court — King  grants  him  Patent  for  Haymarket 
— Rebuilds  the  Theatre — Appears  again,  with  false  leg, 
on  the  Stage 428 

Nine  original  dramas  in  nine  years — Toils  of  acting  and  man- 
agement— Sufferings  from  illness — Produces  Devil  on  Two 
Sticks— Satirises  Practitioners  in  Physic       .         .         .     .     429 

Doctor  Brocklesby  and  Mrs.  Macauley — Good  humoured  Satire 
— Socratic  party  in  the  Boxes — The  President  of  College 


XXX  CONTENTS. 

Samuel  Foote.  page 

of  Physicians— Little   Apozem  the  Apothecary — Zoffany's 
picture 430 

Production  of  the  Lame  Lover — Foote's  jokes  against  Attornies 

— Grand  battery  against  the  Law 431 

The  case  of  Hobson  and  Nobson — Arguments  on  either  side — 

Footmen  and  Maids  aping  Masters  and  Mistresses      .         .     432 

Hero  of  the  Lame  Lover — Sir  Luke  Limp — Laugli  at  Prince 

Boothby — Son  of  Fielding's  Sophia  Western  .         .     .     433 

Sir  Luke  Limp's  Engagements — Busy  -with  everybody's  affairs 
but  his  own — Invitations  to  Dinner — The  Alderman,  the 
Knight,  the  Lord,  and  the  Duke — Rank-worship  laughed 
at — No  Flunkey  ism  in  Foote 434 

Produces  the  Maid  of  Bath — Garrick's  prologue — Local  por- 
traiture of  Bath — Satire  of  Home  Tooke  and  Miser  Long — 
Visit  of  Cumberland  and  Garrick  to  Foote's  house  at  Par- 
son's Green 435 

Production  of  the  Nabob  —Borough  of  Bribe' m — The  Christian 

Club — A  Negro  suggested  for  Member       .         .         .         .436 

Question  for  the  Licenser  of  Plays — Unpublished  letter  of  Lord 
Hertford  to  Horace  Walpole — Ridicule  of  the  Society  of 
Antiquaries      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .     .     437 

Nabobs  go  to  see  the  Nabob — Sir  Matthew  White  and  General 
Smith — Invite  Foote  to  their  Houses — He  produces  the 
Puppet  Show 438 

Piety  in  Pattens—Laugh  at  Politics  and  Public  Men — Senti- 
mental Comedy  overthrown — The  Stratford  Jubilee       .     .     439 

Garrick  and  Foote  at  Lord  Stafford's — Interchange  of  hospitali- 
ties— Good  feeling  between  Foote  and  Grarrick — Their  ser- 
vices to  each  other  .......     440 

Foote's  public  compliment  to  Mrs.  Garrick — Writing  Candi- 
dates' Addresses  for  the  Mock  Election  at  Garrett — Pro- 
duction and  success  of  the  Bankrupt 441 

Mercantile  Failures  of  1772 — Sir  George  Fordyce  and  the 
Scotch  Bankers — Foote  satirises  Newspaper  Slanders — 
Last  visit  to  Scotland 442 

Visits  Ireland  for  last  time — Lord   Harcourt's  hospitalities — 

Sadness  of  his  Occasional  Prologue 443 

Behind  the  Scenes  in  Dublin — O'Keefe's  recollections  of  him — 

A  Green-room  incident 444 

Generosity  to  Players — Encouragement  of  the  Young — Support 
of  the  Old — Not  a  slave  to  the  Actor" s  Vice  of  jealousy — 
Playing  for  a  Christmas  Dinner 445 

Unpublished  letter  to  Garrick — Characteristic  allusions — The 
Literary  Club — Foote's  habit  of  reading  in  bed — Narrow 
escape  of  becoming  a  Toast 446 

Little  Jephson  and  Foote  in  the  Parliament  House — Mr.  Alder- 
man Faulkner — An  original  letter — Message  to  Mrs. 
Garrick 447 


CONTENTS. 


Samuel  Foote. 


Refusal  to  satirise  upon  Appearances  only — Again  in  London — 
Produces  his  Cozeners  —  Legitimate  Satire  —  Macaroni 
Preachers  and  Traders  in  Simony — Mrs.  Rudd  and  Mrs. 
Fleec'em 448 

Charles  Fox's  Adventure  with  West  Indian  Heiress  introduced 
— Painting  of  Charles's  eyebrows— The  Private  Boxes  con- 
vulsed— Dr.  Dodd's  attempted  Bribery  of  Lady  Apsley      .     449 

Foote's  Dr.  Simony — The  most  "populous"  of  Preachers — His 
short  Sermons  and  short  Wig — No  scruples  in  Duty  or 
Doctrine 450 

Ridicule  of  Chesterfield's  Letters  to  his  Son — Further  burlesque 
of  them  meditated — Johnson's  suggestion — Foote's  illness 
and  projected  surrender  of  his  theatre      .         .         .         .451 

One  more  new  Comedy — The  Trip  to  Calais — Strikes  at  Duchess 

of  Kingston — She  strikes  again — Her  blow  the  heaviest     .     452 

Appeal  to  the  Chamberlain — Foote's  letter  to  Lord  Hertford — 
Suppression  of  his  play  would  close  his  public  life — Lord 
Hertford  suggests  a  compromise       .         .         .         .         .     453 

Interview  at  Kingston  House — Offers  to  Foote — His  rejection 
of  them — Batteries  of  private  slander  opened  remorselessly 
against  him       .........     454 

A  cry  of  pain — Offer  to  withdraw  Scenes  if  Libels  are  with- 
drawn— The  Duchess's  Letter 455 

Foote's  Reply  to  the  Duchess — Masterpiece  of  Wit  and  Satire — 

Lord  Mountstuart  called  in  evidence 456 

Horace  Walpole's   opinion   of  the   Controversy — Mason's — Dr. 

Hoadly's — The  Duchess's  Trial  and  Conviction  of  Bigamy  .     457 

Foote's  resolve— Produces  The  Capuchin — Satirises  his  libeller 
Jackson — Packing  of  Audience  at  the  Haymarket — Con- 
spiracy against  Foote — Unnameable  slanders — Foote  pro- 
secutes the  Slanderer      .         .         .         .         .         .         .458 

Reopens  the  Haymarket — His  Reception  and  his  Appeal — Pun- 
ishment of  his  Libeller — Counter-accusation  got  up  against 
Foote 459 

The  Trial  deferred — Foote's  sufferings — Grarrick's  kindness — 
The  friends  who  rallied  round  him — Burke,  Reynolds, 
— Fitzherbert,  the  Royal  Dukes,  and  other  noblemen — Trial 
before  Lord  Mansfield 460 

Murphy  the  messenger  of  the  Verdict — Foote's  extraordinary 
emotion — Lets  his  Theatre  to  Colman — Complete  list  of  his 
Dramatic  Pieces,  and  dates  of  Performance— At  the  Queen's 
Drawing-Room — Last  appearance  on  the  Stage        .         .461 

Reaches  Dover  on  his  way  to  France — His  Death — Buried  in 
the  Cloisters  of  Westminster  Abbey— No  memorial  in 
marble  or  stone         ........     462 

Index 463 


[TJHI7EESIT7J 

OUTER  CEOMWELL 

1599—1658. 


Histoire  de  la  RepuhUque  d'Angleterre  et  de  Cromwell.    Par  M.  Guizot. 

Richard  Cromwell.     Par  M.  Guizot. 

History  of  Oliver  Cromwell  and  the  English  Commonwealth.    By  M.  Guizot. 
Translated  from  the  French. 


Up  to  the  time  when  Mr.  Macaulay,  some  seyen  and 
twenty  years  ago,  remarked  of  the  character  of  Cromwell 
in  this  Review,  that  though  constantly  attacked  and 
scarcely  ever  defended,  it  had  yet  always  continued 
popular  with  ^q  great  hody  of  his  countrymen,  it  is  un- 
questionable that  the  memory  of  the  great  Protector, 
assiduously  blackened  as  it  had  been  in  almost  every 
generation  since  his  death,  had  failed  to  find  a  writer  in 
any  party  entirely  prepared  to  act  as  its  champion.  Down 
to  the  days  of  Mr.  Hume,  Cromwell  remained  for  the 
most  part  what  that  philosophical  historian  very  unphi- 
losophically  called  him,  "  a  fanatical  hypocrite ;  "  and 
though  there  was  afterwards  a  great  change,  though  to 
praise  him  was  no  longer  punishable,  to  revile  him  became 
almost  unfashionable,  and  at  last  the  champion  ready  on 
every  point  to  defend  and  uphold  him  was  found  in  Mr. 
Carlyle,  it  is  yet  remarkable  what  differences  of  opinion 
as  to  his  moral  quaHties  continued  to  prevail,  where  even 
the  desire  to  exalt  his  intellectual  abilities  was  most 
marked  and  prominent.  We  shall  perhaps  best  exhibit 
this,  and  with  it  the  authorities  on  which  M.  Guizot  has 
had  mainly  to  rely  for  that  latest  and  not  least  admirable 

*  From  the  Edinhurgh  Review;  January,  1856.    With  several  omissions. 


2  DIFFERENT   VIEWS   OF    SAME    CHARACTER.       \Oliver 

of  the  written  portraits  of  the  Protector  whicli  we  are 
about  to  introduce  to  our  readers,  if  we  briefly  sketch 
Cromwell  under  the  leading  general  aspects  in  which  he 
has  appeared  to  the  students  of  English  history,  from  the 
opening  of  the  present  century  to  our  own  day.  That 
will  of  course  exclude  the  old  Tory  and  Fox-hunting 
style  of  talking  of  him,  and  restrict  us  to  such  expressions 
only  as  educated  men  need  not  blush  to  read.  Under 
three  di\dsions,  we  think,  all  may  be  sufficiently  included. 
The  first  would  run  somewhat  thus.  That,  when  the 
struggle  had  passed  from  the  parliament  house  into  the 
field  of  battle,  there  somewhat  suddenly  arose  into  the 
first  place  amid  the  popular  ranks,  a  man  not  more  re- 
markable for  his  apparent  religious  fanaticism  than  for 
the  sagacity  of  his  practical  outlook  on  afi'airs.  So  far 
indeed  had  the  latter  quality  in  him  a  tendency,  as  events 
moved  on,  to  correct  the  former,  that  even  what  was 
sincere  in  his  rehgious  views  soon  yielded  to  the  teachings 
and  temptations  of  worldly  experience,  and  religion  itself 
became  with  him  but  the  cloak  to  a  calculating  policy. 
His  principal  associates  were  bigots  in  repubHcanism ; 
but  he  had  himself  too  much  intellect  to  remain  long 
under  a  delusion  so  preposterous,  as  that  monarchy, 
aristocracy,  and  episcopacy  were  not  essential  to  England. 
As  the  opponent  of  all  three,  nevertheless,  he  was  pledged 
too  deeply  to  recede  ;  and  such  was  the  false  position  in 
which  his  very  genius  and  successes  placed  him,  that, 
with  no  love  for  hypocrisy,  he  became  of  necessity,  a 
hypocrite.  To  cant  in  his  talk,  to  grimace  in  his  gestures, 
on  his  very  knees  in  prayer  to  know  no  humility,  were 
the  crooked  ways  by  which  alone  he  could  hope  to  reach 
the  glittering  prize  that  tempted  him.  When  at  last  it 
fell  within  his  grasp,  therefore,  when  he  had  struck  aside 
the  last  life  that  intercepted  his  path  to  sovereignty,  and 
al  he  sought  was  won,  there  came  with  it  the  inseparable 
attendants  of  discontent  and  remorse.  "  What  would  not 
"  Cromwell  have  given,"  exclaims  Mr.  Southey,  "whether 
"  he  looked  to  this  world  or  the  next,  if  his  hands  had 
"  been  clear  of  the  king's  blood !  "  The  height  to  which 
he  afterwards  rose  never  lifted  him  above  that  stain.  It 
darkened  the  remainder  of  his  life  with  sorrow.  "  Fain 
"would  he  have  restored  the  monarchy,"  pui'sues  Mr. 


Cromwe/L']  traitor  to  royalty  or  to  liberty  ?  3 

Southey,  "  created  a  house  of  peers,  and  re-established 
"  tlie  episcopal  churcli."  But  his  guilt  to  royalty  was 
not  to  be  cleansed,  or  his  crime  to  society  redeemed,  by 
setting  up  mere  inadequate  forms  of  the  precious  insti- 
tutions he  had  overthrown.  He  lived  only  long  enough 
to  convince  himself  of  this  ;  and  at  the  close  would  have 
made  himself  the  instrument  for  even  a  restoration  of  the 
Stuarts,  if  Charles  the  Second  could  have  forgiven  the 
execution  of  his  father.  But  this  was  not  thought  possible, 
and  Cromwell  died  a  defeated  and  disappointed  man. 

The  second  view  of  the  character  would  arrive,  by  very 
different  reasoning,  at  something  like  the  same  conclusion 
of  grief  and  disappointment.  Within  somewhat  similar 
toils  of  ambition,  however,  it  exhibits  a  far  greater  and 
purer  soul.  It  would  seem  to  be  founded  on  the  belief, 
that  a  man  must  have  thoroughly  deceived  himself  before 
he  succeeds  on  any  great  or  extended  scale  in  deceiving 
others  ;  and  here  the  final  remorse  is  made  to  arise,  not 
from  treason  to  royalty,  but  from  treason  to  liberty.  In 
this  Cromwell,  we  have  a  man  never  wholly  mthout  a 
deep  and  sincere  rehgion,  however  often  able  to  wrest  it 
to  worldly  purposes ;  and,  if  never  altogether  without 
ambition,  yet  with  the  highest  feelings  and  principles 
intenningUng  with  the  earlier  promptings  of  it.  There 
is  presented  to  us  a  man  not  always  loving  liberty,  but 
always  restless  and  insubordinate  against  tyranny ;  and 
at  the  last,  even  with  his  hand  upon  the  crown,  driven 
back  from  it  by  the  influence  still  possessed  over  him  by 
old  republican  associates.  His  nature,  in  this  view  of 
it,  is  of  that  complicated  kind,  that,  without  being  false 
to  itself,  it  has  yet  not  been  true  to  others  ;  and  it  is  even 
more  the  consciousness  of  what  might  have  been  his 
success,  than  the  sense  of  what  has  been  his  failure, 
which  constitutes  the  grief  of  his  closing  years.  \Yhile 
he  has  grasped  at  a  shadow  of  personal  authority,  the 
means  of  government  have  broken  from  him  ;  and,  fail- 
ing as  a  sovereign,  he  cannot  further  succeed  as  a  ruler. 
Difficulties  without  have  accumulated,  as  perplexities 
within  increased ;  and  his  once  lofty  thoughts  and  aspira- 
tions have  sunk  into  restless  provisions  for  personal  safety. 
The  day  which  released  his  great  spirit,  therefore,  the 
anniversary  of  his  victories  of  Worcester  and  Dunbar, 

B  2 


4  COMPLETE  TYPE  OF  PURITAN  REBELLION.    {OUver 

was  to  be  held  still  his  Fortunate  Day  for  the  sake  of 
the  death  it  brought,  not  less  than  it  was  so  held  of  old 
for  the  triumphs  it  associated  with  his  name.^ 

The  third  stands  apart  from  both  of  these,  and  may  be 
taken  as  the  expression  of  certain  absolute  results,  to 
which  a  study  of  the  entire  of  CromwelFs  letters  and 
speeches,  brought  into  succinct  arrangement  and  con- 
nection, has  been  able  to  bring  so  earnest  an  inquirer  as 
Mr.  Carlyle.  We  may  thus  describe  them.  That,  in  tha 
harsh  untuneable  voice  which  rose  in  protest  against 
popery  in  the  third  parliament,  was  heard  at  once  the 
complete  type  and  the  noblest  development  of  what  was 
meant  by  the  Puritan  Rebellion.  That  there  then  broke 
forth  the  utterance  of  a  true  man,  of  a  consistency  of 
character  perfect  to  an  heroic  degree,  and  whose  figure 
has  heretofore  been  completely  distorted  by  the  mists  of 
time  and  prepossession  through  which  we  have  regarded 
it,  as  we  looked  back  into  the  past.  That  this  Cromwell 
was  no  hypocrite  or  actor  of  plays,  had  no  vanity  or  pride 
in  the  prodigious  intellect  he  possessed,  was  no  theorist 
in  politics  or  government,  was  no  victim  of  ambition,  was 
no  seeker  after  sovereignty  or  temporal  power.  That  he 
was  a  man  whose  every  thought  was  with  the  Eternal, — 
a  man  of  a  great,  robust,  massive  mind,  and  of  an  honest, 
stout,  Enghsh  heart :  subject  to  melancholy  for  the  most 
part,  because  of  the  deep  yearnings  of  his  soul  for  the 
sense  of  divine  forgiveness;  but  inflexible  and  resolute 
always,  because  in  all  things  governed  by  the  supreme 
law.  That,  in  him,  was  seen  a  man  whom  no  fear  but  of 
the  divine  anger  could  distract ;  whom  no  honour  in  man's 
bestowal  could  seduce  or  betray ;  who  knew  the  duty  of 
the  hour  to  be  ever  imperative,  and  who  sought  only  to 
do  the  work,  whatever  it  might  be,  whereunto  he  believed 
God  to  have  called  him.  That,  here  was  one  of  those 
rare  souls  which  could  lay  upon  itself  the  lowliest  and  the 
highest  functions  alike,  and  find  itself,  in  them  all,  self- 

^  Such  was  the  view  I  attempted  posed  veiy  greatly  indeed  to  modify 

to  present  of  the  character  of  this  it ;  though  not  by  any  means  to  adopt 

great  man  in  my  Statesmen  of  the  the  tone  of  dislike  and  depreciation 

Commonwealth.    As  the  reader  may  of  the  Republicans  and  their  design, 

probably  infer  from  the  tone  of  the  which  too  generally  accompanies  the 

present  Essay,  I  should  now  be  dis-  unsparing  eulogy  of  Cromwell. 


Cromwell.  ]  views  of  carlyle  and  of  guizot.  5 

contained  and  suflB.cient, — tlie  dutiful  gentle  son,  tlie  quiet 
country  gentleman,  the  sportive  tender  husband,  the  fond 
father,  the  active  soldier,  the  daring  political  leader,  the 
powerful  sovereign, — under  each  aspect  still  steady  and 
unmoved  to  the  transient  outward  appearances  of  this 
world,  still  wrestling  and  trampling  forward  to  the  sub- 
lime hopes  of  another,  and  passing  through  every 
instant  of  its  term  of  life  as  through  a  Marston 
Moor,  a  Worcester,  a  Dunbar.  That  such  a  man  could 
not  have  consented  to  take  part  in  public  affairs,  under 
any  compulsion  less  strong  than  that  of  conscience.*  That 
his  business  in  them  was  to  serve  the  Lord,  and  to  bring 
his  country  under  subjection  to  God's  laws.  That,  if  the 
statesmen  of  the  republic  who  had  laboured  and  fought 
with  him,  could  not  also  see  their  way  to  that  prompt 
sanctification  of  their  country,  he  did  well  to  strike  them 
from  his  path,  and  unrelentingly  denounce  or  imprison 
them.  That  he  felt,  unless  his  purpose  were  so  carried 
out  unflinchingly,  a  curse  would  be  upon  him  ;  that  no 
act,  necessitated  by  it,  could  be  other  than  just  and  noble  ; 
and  that  there  could  be  no  treason  against  royalty  or 
liberty,  unless  it  were  also  treason  against  God.  That, 
finally,  as  he  had  lived  he  died,  in  the  conviction  that 
human  laws  were  nothing  unless  brought  into  agreement 
with  divine  laws,  and  that  the  temporal  must  also  mean 
the  spiritual  government  of  man. 

And  now,  with  these  three  aspects  of  the  same  character 
before  us,  we  may  perhaps  better  measure  the  view  which 
M.  Guizot  takes  of  Cromwell.  Something  of  the  first  will 
be  found  in  it ;  of  the  second  decidedly  yet  more ;  and 
though  it  has  nothing  of  the  remorse  with  which  both 
cloud  the  latter  days  of  the  Protector,  it  expresses  the 
same  sense  of  failure  and  loss,  and  stops  with  a  faltering 
step  far  short  of  where  his  last  and  warmest  panegyrist 
would  place  him.  Free  and  unhesitating,  nevertheless,  is 
its  admiration  of  his  genius  and  greatness,  and  earnest 
and  unshrinking  the  sympathy  expressed  with  his  courage 
and  his  practical  aims.  It  would  seem  to  be  the  view  too 
exclusively  of  a  statesman  and  a  man  of  the  world.  The 
conclusion  arrived  at,  is  that  of  one  who  has  lived  too 
near  to  revolutions,  and  suffered  from  them  too  much, 
always  to  see  them  in  their  right  proportions,  to  measure 


6  QUALIFICATIONS   FOR   SUCCESS.  \Oliver 

them  patiently  by  their  own  laws,  or  to  adjust  them  fairly 
to  their  settled  meaning  and  ultimate  design.  But  there 
is  nothing  in  it  which  is  petty  or  unjust ;  nothing  that  is 
unworthy  of  a  high  clear  intellect. 

M.  Guizot  thinks  Cromwell  to  have  been  a  great  man, 
but  with  the  drawback  of  having  been  too  much  ena- 
moured of  the  mere  hard,  substantial  greatness,  of  this 
lower  world.  All  that  was  noble  in  his  mind,  and  all  that 
was  little,  he  was  ever  able,  and  too  ready,  to  subordinate 
to  the  lust  of  material  dominion.  But,  where  that  passion 
led  him,  there  also  lay  what  he  believed  to  be  his  duty  ; 
and  if,  in  the  pursuit  of  it,  he  suffered  no  principle  of 
right  to  be  a  barrier  upon  his  path,  neither  did  he  suffer 
any  mists  of  petty  vanity  to  cloud  his  perfect  view  of 
whatever  hard  or  flinty  road  might  lie  before  him.  To 
Grovern,  says  M.  Guizot,  that  was  his  design.  The  business 
of  his  life  was  to  arrive  at  Government,  and  to  maintain 
himself  in  it ;  his  enemies  were  those  who  would  throw 
any  bar  or  hindrance  in  the  way  of  this  ;  and,  excepting 
those  whom  he  used  as  its  agents,  he  had  no  friends. 
Such  a  man  was  Cromwell,  if  he  be  judged  rightly  by  the 
French  historian.  He  was  a  great  and  a  successful,  but 
an  unscrupulous  man.  With  equal  success  he  attempted 
and  accomplished  the  most  opposite  enterprises.  During 
eighteen  years  a  leading  actor  in  the  business  of  the 
world,  and  always  in  the  character  of  victor,  he  by  turns 
scattered  disorder  and  established  order,  excited  revo- 
lution and  chastised  it,  overthrew  the  government  and 
raised  it  again.  At  each  moment,  in  each  situation,  he 
unravelled  with  a  wonderful  sagacity  the  passions  and 
the  interests  that  happened  to  be  dominant ;  and,  twist- 
ing all  their  threads  into  his  own  web  of  policy,  he  clothed 
himself  ever  with  their  authority,  and  knew  still  how  to 
identify  with  theirs  his  own  dominion.  Always  bent  upon 
one  great  aim,  he  spurned  any  charge  of  inconsistency  as 
to  the  means  by  which  he  pursued  it.  His  past  might 
at  any  time  belie  his  present,  but  for  that  he  cared  little. 
He  steered  his  bark  according  to  the  wind  that  blew ; 
and,  however  the  prow  might  point  at  one  time  and 
another,  it  was  enough  for  him  if  he  could  ride  the  stormy 
waters  of  the  revolution,  and  make  short  voyage  without 
shipwreck  to  the  harbour  beyond.     The  singleness  of  his 


Cromwell. ~\  causes  of  failure.  7 

aim  was  tlie  consistency  tliat  covered  any  inconsistency 
in  the  conduct  of  his  enterprise.  His  work  was  good 
if  it  attained  its  crown.  His  seamanship  was  credit- 
able if  it  took  him  safely  across  to  the  desired  port, 
port  royal. 

Not  that  this  expressed  in  him  any  mean  or  low  desire 
for  a  merely  selfish  aggrandisement.  It  is  a  main  point 
in  M.  Guizot's  judgment  of  the  character  of  Cromwell, 
that  he  holds  him  to  have  been  a  man  who  felt  quite  as 
distinctly  as  M.  Guizot  himself  feels,  an  absence  of  prac- 
tical sense  in  even  the  noblest  system  that  is  Kevolutionary. 
He  was  thoroughly  aw.are  that  a  people  Kke  the  English, 
reverent  of  law,  though  they  might  crush  a  king  by  whom 
the  law  had  been  defied,  would  nevertheless  remain  true 
in  their  hearts  to  the  principle  of  monarchy.  When  he 
proposed,  therefore,  finally  to  stand  before  the  English 
as  their  sovereign,  the  Cromwell  of  M.  Guizot  was  but 
shaping  his  ambition  by  the  spirit  of  the  nation  he  sought 
to  rule.  His  soul  was  too  great  to  be  satisfied  with  a 
mere  personal  success.  To  become  a  constitutional  king 
was  only  his  last  aim  but  one.  His  last,  and  the  dearest 
object  of  his  life,  was  to  transmit  a  crown  and  sceptre,  as 
their  birthright,  to  succeeding  members  of  his  family. 
He  was  a  man,  however,  who  could  conquer,  but  who 
could  not  found.  He  conquered  much  more  than  the 
power  of  King  of  England,  but  also  much  less  than  the 
name ;  and  while  it  was  his  own  wish,  as  well  as  the  genius 
of  the  nation,  to  govern  by  Parliaments,  and  not  an  efibrt 
was  left  unattempted  by  him  to  put  off  his  absolutist 
habits,  and  to  live  within  the  means  of  a  ruler  account- 
able to  Lords  and  Commons,  these  were  the  only  labours 
of  his  life  in  which  he  failed.  To  substitute  for  a  weak 
House  of  Stuart  a  strong  House  of  CromAvell,  at  the  gate 
of  the  temple  of  the  Constitution,  was,  if  M.  Guizot  be 
right  in  his  view,  the  most  persistent  aim  of  the  Protec- 
torate. But  herein  the  Protector  failed  ;  and  the  histo- 
rian to  whom  disorder  is  the  synonym  for  revolution, 
closes  with  this  sentence  the  Histoire  de  la  Bqnibliqiie 
d' Angleterre  et  de  Cromwell: 

"  God  does  not  grant  to  the  great  men  who  have  set 
*'  on  disorder  the  foundations  of  their  greatness,  the 
"  power  to  regulate  at  their  pleasure  and  for  centuries, 


8         SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BOOK  FROM  TRANSLATION.    {OUvet 

"  even  according  to  their  best  wishes,  the  government 
"  of  nations.'^  ^ 

That  is  the  moral  of  the  book ;  and  it  may  be  well  that 
the  reader  should  see,  before  we  proceed  further,  how  the 
few  simple  and  pregnant  words  composing  it  are  given  in 
the  English  version.  M.  Guizot's  translator'"'  states  his 
endeavour  to  have  been  "  to  make  as  literal  a  translation 
"  as  was  compatible  with  our  English  idiom ;"  and  the 
sentence,  which  translates  literally  as  above,  is  adapted 
to  English  idiom  after  the  following  fashion :  "  God 
"  does  not  grant  to  those  great  men  who  have  laid  the 
"  foundation  of  their  greatness  amidst  disorder  and  revo- 
*'  lution,  the  power  of  regulating  at  their  pleasure,  and 
"  for  succeeding  ages,  the  government  of  nations.'*  Of 
which  sentence,  the  accommodation  to  English  idiom  con- 
sists in  the  addition  of  "  and  revolution  "  to  "  disorder," 
whereby  the  English  implies  that  the  two  things  are  dif- 
ferent, whereas  it  is  the  spirit  of  the  French  to  assume 
that  they  are  like ;  and  in  the  entire  omission  of  the 
very  pregnant  clause  by  which  both  the  summary  of 
Cromwell's  ambition  is  qualified  to  his  credit,  and  the 
moral  the  historian  would  draw  from  it  is  pointedly  en- 
forced, namely,  that  in  the  opinion  of  M.  Guizot,  even 
designs  that  might  seem  well  worthy  of  completion  are 
frustrated  by  the  divine  wisdom,  when  disorder  is  used  as 
a  step  to  their  accomplishment. 

As  it  is  in  this  opening  sentence,  however,  so  it  is,  we 
regret  to  say,  through  the  greater  part  of  the  translator's 
work ;  and  since  we  have  interrupted  ourselves  to  say  so 
much,  we  may  as  well  delay  the  reader  a  little  longer  to 
prove  it.  For,  it  is  surely  to  be  regretted  that  a  book 
like  this  by  M.  Guizot,  so  especially  interesting  to  Eng- 

1  * '  Dieu  n'accorde  pas  aux  grands  an  important  one,  and  they  are  re- 
"  hommes  qui  ont  pose  dans  le  des-  tained  for  that  reason.  I  am  bound 
**  ordre  les  fondements  de  leur  to  add,  however,  that  the  same 
**  grandeur,  le  pouvoir  de  regler,  translator  acquitted  himself  infi- 
*' 4  leur  gre  et  pour  des  siecles,  nitely  better  in  the  execution  of  the 
**  m^meselonleursmeilleursdesirs,  second  part  of  M.  Guizot's  work, 
*'  le  gouvernement  des  nations,"  devoted  to  Richard  Cromwell.   This 

2  In  again  reading  these  remarks  latter  book,  taken  as  a  whole,  is  a 
on  M.  Guizot's  translator,  the  tone  version  of  the  original  neither  un- 
is    here    and    there    unnecessarily  pleasing  nor  unfaithful, 

V harsh  ;  but  the  question  raised  is 


Cromwell. ~\  style  extinguished.  9 

lisliineii  tliat  a  place  was  at  once  ready  in  our  permanent 
literature  for  a  good  translation  of  it,  should  have  failed 
to  find  the  proper  care  and  attention  in  this  respect.  If 
books  were  to  be  swallowed  like  water,  with  no  regard  to 
the  mere  pleasure  of  the  taste,  it  would  matter  little  ;  but 
there  is  a  style  in  writing  as  there  is  a  bouquet  in  wine, 
and  if  M.  Guizot's  be  a  little  thin,  it  is  yet  pure,  refined, 
and  sparkling,  with  a  delicate  aroma.  As  he  presents  it 
to  us,  it  is  never  flat  or  insipid ;  but  it  is  a  sad  plunge 
from  M.  Guizot's  flask  to  his  translator's  bucket,  and 
whatever  spirit  the  original  possessed  is  found  to  have 
almost  or  altogether  disappeared.  A  reconstruction 
into  verbose,  round-in-the-mouth  sentences,  is  the  de- 
struction of  M.  Guizot's  French.  The  sense  comes 
mufiled,  as  though  the  voice  reached  us  through  a 
feather  bed.  Let  any  one  who  cares  to  be  at  so  much 
trouble,  read  separately  this  history  and  its  translation, 
and  he  will  be  surprised  to  flnd  how  much  is  lost  when 
style  is  lost.  The  two  versions  leave  absolutely  difi'erent 
impressions  of  the  author's  mind. 

Without  any  special  search  for  glaring  instances,  we 
will  begin  at  the  beginning.  We  will  take  the  first 
dozen  pages  (written  when  the  translator,  fresh  to  his 
work,  could  hardly  have  begun  to  sKp  through  weariness), 
and  see  what  has  been  made  of  them.  The  very  title,  we 
regret  to  say,  has  been  altered  in  significance.  M.  Guizot 
wrote  History  of  the  Commomvealth  of  England  and  of 
Cromwell,  and  this  the  translator  makes  compatible  with 
English  idiom  by  writing  History  of  Oliver  Cromwell  and 
the  English  Commomvealth.  It  does  not  occur  to  him 
that  there  may  be  sense,  no  less  than  sound,  in  the  order 
of  the  words  placed  upon  his  title-page  by  the  historian. 
His  problem  is  to  impart  what  he  conceives  to  be  an  easy 
flow  to  a  given  number  of  vocables  ;  and  if  for  him  they 
flow  better  upside  down  than  straightforward,  they  are 
inverted  accordingly. 

It  is  a  noticeable  peculiarity  of  M.  Guizot,  that  in 
characterising  historical  persons  he  shows  himself  prone 
to  dwell  on  the  contradictory  appearances  assumable  by 
the  same  nature.  Whenever  it  is  possible,  he  marks  the 
two  sides  which  belong  to  human  character,  and  the  ease 
with  which  opposite  opinions  of  the  same  individual  may 


10  MEANINGS   AND    SENSE   TRANSLATED.         [OHver 

"witli  no  dishonesty  be  formed.  Of  this  there  is  of  course 
no  example  in  his  book,  or  in  the  whole  range  of  human 
history,  so  prominent  as  Cromwell  himself;  and  the 
temptation  is  great  to  the  historian  to  bring  out  such 
contrasts  in  strong  antithetical  expression.  So  marked 
in  M.  Guizot  is  generally,  indeed,  this  form  of  speech, 
that  it  takes  but  the  least  additional  strain  to  turn  it 
into  nonsense ;  and  not  seldom  his  translator  goes  far  to 
effect  this,  by  multiplying  words  ^vithout  the  least  neces- 
sity. It  is  quite  curious  how  he  yields  to  the  temptation 
of  rolling  off  high-sounding  sentences.  In  the  opening 
words  of  the  book,  he  cannot  give  simply  even  such  an 
epithet  as  "  the  lustre  of  their  actions  and  their  destiny," 
"  I'eclat  de  leur  actions  et  de  leur  destinee,"  without 
turning  it  into  "  the  splendour  of  their  actions  and  the 
*'  magnitude  of  their  destiny." 

The  history  begins  with  a  picture  of  the  Long  Parlia- 
ment under  its  republican  chiefs,  reduced  in  number  by 
secessions  following  the  execution  of  the  King,  and  re- 
garded without  S}Tnpathy  by  the  main  body  of  the  people. 
In  the  February  following  the  execution,  there  were  not 
more  than  seventy-seven  members  who  recorded  votes  at 
any  of  the  divisions,  and  of  these  divisions  M.  Guizot 
counts  eight.  The  translator  alters  this  into  ten,  without 
a  note  to  indicate  the  change.  The  parliamentary  leaders, 
M.  Guizot  continues,  set  to  work,  "avec  une  ardeur  pleine 
"  en  meme  temps  de  foi  et  d'inquietude  :  "  a  hint  of  the 
secret  disquiet  at  the  heart  of  theorists  committed  sud- 
denly to  action,  which  loses  both  subtlety  and  sense  by 
the  translator's  exaggeration  of  disquiet  into  anxiety,  and 
by  his  yoking  of  an  adjective  to  each  noun  for  the  more 
dignified  and  sonorous  roll  of  the  period.  They  set  to 
work,  he  says,  with  an  ardour  full  "  at  once  of  strong 
"  faith  and  deep  anxiety."  The  words  strong  and  deep 
come  into  the  sentence,  and  the  things  strength  and 
depth  go  out  of  it. 

Forty- one  councillors  of  state  were  presently  appointed, 
and  among  those  chosen,  says  M.  Guizot,  there  were  five 
superior  magistrates,  and  twenty-eight  country  gentlemen 
and  citizens  :  but  these  numbers,  again  mthout  a  note  to 
say  that  he  is  not  translating,  the  translator  alters,  one 
into  three,  the  other  into  thirty.    When  these  councillors 


CromwelL'\      al'thor's  intention  missed.  II 

met,  contiimes  the  historian,  they  were  required  to  sign 
an  engagement  approving  of  all  that  had  been  done  "  in 
"  the  king's  trial,  and  in  the  aboHtion  of  monarchy  and 
"  of  the  house  of  lords : "  but  the  translator  words  and 
double  words  the  simple  expression,  "  in  the  king's  trial, 
"  in  the  overthrow  of  kingship,  and  in  the  abolition  of 
"  the  house  of  lords."  Twenty-two,  proceeds  M.  Guizot, 
persisted  "  a  le  repousser : "  but  English  idiom  pushes 
away  that  spirited  word,  and  tells  us  merely  that  they  per- 
sisted "  in  refusing  it."  The  substance  of  their  reasons, 
adds  M.  Guizot,  the  tone  of  his  mind  colouring  his  ex- 
pression insensibly,  was  that  they  "  refused  to  associate 
"  themselves"  with  the  past:  but,  masterly  as  is  the  hint 
so  given  of  a  personal  stain,  and  of  the  dread  of  compli- 
city, the  translator  drearily  obscures  it  into  "■  refused  to 
"  give  their  sanction."  Excited  by  the  censure  so  im- 
pUed,  resumes  M.  Guizot,  the  House  nevertheless  checked 
its  own  resentment  (''on  ne  voulut  pas  faire  eclater  les 
"  dissensions  des  republicains  ") ;  and  here  his  temperate 
and  subtle  tone  again  directs  attention  to  the  weakness 
of  the  theoretical  republicans,  in  the  fact  that  they  did 
not  msh  to  publish  abroad  their  dissensions.  But  the 
entire  sense  is  lost  by  the  translator,  who  again  words 
and  double  words  and  smothers  it  in  idiom.  "  To  ori- 
"  ginate  dissensions  among  the  republicans  would,  it 
*'  was  felt,  be  madness."  There  is  already  discord  in  the 
camp,  suggests  M.  Guizot.  Discord,  suggests  his  trans- 
lator, had  yet  to  begin,  and  these  were  not  men  mad 
enough  to  set  it  going.  The  translator  may  be  right,  but 
he  is  not  translating  M.  Guizot. 

The  historian  still  pursues  his  theme.  "  Les  regicides 
"  comprirent  qu'ils  seraient  trop  faibles  s'ils  restaient 
*'  seuls  : "  but,  that  the  translation  might  become  "  too 
"  weak  "  indeed,  the  simple  words  "  trop  faibles "  are 
multiplied  into  the  idiomatic  English  of  "  not  strong 
*'  enough  to  maintain  their  position."  The  matter  was 
accordingly  arranged,  says  M.  Guizot,  "  sans  plus  de 
"  bruit."  Hushed-up  would  be  no  bad  idiom  for  that ; 
but,  unfortimately,  hushed-up  would  mean  what  M.  Guizot 
means,  and  so,  says  the  translator,  it  was  arranged  "  with- 
"  out  further  difficulty."  Significantly  M.  Guizot  adds, 
of  the  modified  pledge  offered  by  the  dissidents,  that  with 


12  FELICITIES   AND   INFELICITIES   OF   IDIOM.    [OUver 

it  "  on  se  contenta : "  wHcli,  most  insignificantly,  the 
translator  renders  "  it  was  accepted." 

These  are  small  items  of  criticism,  it  will  be  said.  But 
be  it  understood  that  the  last  seven  arise  out  of  a  single 
paragraph,  and  that  the  last  six  are  on  the  same  page  ; 
and  let  any  one  conceive  what  murder  is  done  upon  the 
soul  of  a  book,  700  pages  long,  when  a  translator  sits 
dowTi  in  this  manner  to  the  work  of  killing  it  by  inches. 

We  turn  over,  and  on  the  first  line  of  the  next  page 
read  that  the  compromise  described  was  "  to  a  very  great 
"  extent "  the  work  of  Cromwell  and  Sir  Henry  Vane  : 
"  to  a  very  great  extent "  being  the  translator's  idiom  for 
"  surtout."  Before  we  get  to  the  middle  of  the  page,  we 
find  a  date  set  down  as  November,  without  any  note  of 
its  having  been  written  December  in  the  text.  On  the 
first  line  of  the  next  page.  Vane's  suggestion  of  an  oath 
of  fidelity  having  relation  simply  to  the  future,  is  spoken 
of  as  an  idea  of  which  Cromwell  was  most  eager  "  to 
*'  express  his  entire  approval : "  the  translator  so  supply- 
ing his  peculiar  idiom  for  "  a  s'en  contenter."  Similarly 
we  find,  in  the  sentence  following,  that  for  "  nul "  the 
English  idiom  is  "no  one  for  a  moment."  Of  the  com- 
mittee of  three  who  held  the  powers  of  the  Admiralty, 
M.  Guizot  says  that  Vane  "  etait  Tame :  "  and  his  trans- 
lator dilutes  it  into  the  idiom  that  Yane  ''  was  the 
"  chief."  Blake  then  enters  on  the  scene,  by  whom, 
according  to  M.  Guizot,  the  glory  of  the  Commonwealth 
at  sea  was  hereafter  "  a  faire ;  "  and  this  expression  is 
rendered  "  to  augment,"  that  its  spirit  may  be  utterly 
destroyed. 

"We  promised  to  comment  on  the  first  dozen  pages  of 
this  authorised  English  version  of  M.  Guizot's  Common- 
wealth and  Cromwell,  and  if  we  redeem  our  promise  we 
must  discuss  four  more.  Eather  than  do  that,  we  will 
break  our  promise.  We  quote  from  both  texts  the  be- 
ginning of  page  nine,  the  English  water  by  the  French 
wine ;  and  no  reader  who  examines  it  will  desire  that  we 
should  splash  on  through  the  pages  following.  The  pas- 
sage, feeble  as  it  is,  is  far  above  the  average  ;  for  in  it 
the  sense  of  the  text  does  absolutely  survive  what  the 
translator  overlays  it  with,  though  in  what  condition  the 
reader  will  see. 


Cromwell S\   warning  to  foreign  writers.  IS 

**La  chambre  avait  to^icM  et  "The  house  had  revised  and 

pourvu  a  tout;  la  legislation,  la  arranged  every  department  of  the 
diplomatie,  la  justice,  la  police,  administration ;  thelQcri^Xsdiou  and 
les  finances,  I'armee,  la  flotte  etai-  diplomacy  of  the  country,  tJie  courts 
ent  dans  ses  mains.  Pourparaitre  0/ justice,  tlie  police,  the  finances, 
aussi  desinteressee  qu'elle  etait  the  army,  and  the  fleet,  were  all 
active,  elle  admit  les  membres  qui  in  its  hands.  To  appear  as  dis- 
s'etaient  separes  du  parti  vain-  interested  as  it  was  active,  it  per- 
queur,  au  moment  de  sa  rupture  mitted  those  members  who  had 
definitive  avec  le  roi,  k  reprendre  separated  from  the  conquering 
leur  place  dans  ses  rangs,  mais  en  party,  at  the  moment  of  its  defi- 
leur  imposant  xva.  tel  desaveu  de  nitive  rupture  ^\•ith  the  king,  to  re- 
leurs  anciens  votes  que  bien  peu  sume  their  seats  in  its  midst ;  but 
d'entre  enxpurent  s'y  resoudre.'"         it  required  from  them  at  the  same 

time  such  a  disavowal  of  their 
former  votes,  that  very  few  could 
persuade  themselves  to  take  advan* 
tage  of  this  co7icession.'" 

Sucli  is  the  translation  which  M.  Guizot  has  authorised, 
and  which  the  law  now  protects  against  any  hetter  that 
might  replace  it.  The  example  should  not  he  thrown 
away.  It  is  an  evil,  hut  ought  not  to  he  a  necessary  evil, 
of  the  protection  given  under  international  copyright, 
that  if  a  hook  he  marred  in  the  translation,  it  is  marred 
past  hope  of  mending.  The  new  law  is  not  less  poHtic 
than  it  is  just,  for  without  it  there  can  he  no  inducement 
sufficient  to  invite  to  such  labour  the  employment  of 
original  talents  and  real  learning.  But  if,  through  want 
of  care  in  obtaining  these,  inapt  or  inferior  talents  are 
employed  and  protected,  mischief  beyond  retrieval  is 
done.  Nor  is  it  easy  to  make  the  proper  choice.  A  man 
may  be  a  very  respectable  writer  who  will  turn  out  to  be 
an  execrable  translator,  though  it  would  be  next  to  im- 
possible that  a  good  translator  should  not  also  be  a  writer 
of  respectable  powers.  But  the  difficulty  should  be 
tlioroughly  considered,  and  a  scrupulous  care  exerted,  be- 
fore foreign  writers  permit  their  works  to  pass  finally  out 
of  their  own  keeping.  What  an  engraver  is  to  an  artist, 
a  translator  should  be  to  an  author  ;  and  the  best  masters 
in  either  craft  have  at  all  times  been  esteemed,  by  authors 
and  painters  of  repute,  as  brother  craftsmen.  If  pub- 
lishers are  indisposed  to  the  same  view,  the  public  should 
protect  themselves.  Copyright  in  translation  will  involve 
grave  injury  to  them,  if  it  lowers  instead  of  raising  the 
average  of  translating  ability  by  lowering  the  prices  paid 
for  it.     To  give  no  more,  under  the  new  law,  to  the  author 


14     PERSONAL  EXPERIENCES  COLOURING  HISTORY.    [OUver 

and  the  translator,  than  under  the  old  was  given  to  the 
translator  alone,  is  to  mistake  altogether  the  object  of  a 
change  which  was  meant  to  increase  the  facilities  for 
properly  remunerating  both,  by  protecting  translations  of 
a  really  high  character  from  unequal  rivalry  with  the  in- 
different or  worthless.  We  invite  to  the  subject,  there- 
fore, a  more  minute  attention  than  it  has  hitherto  been 
customary  to  give  to  it.  A  more  exacting  criticism  of 
translation,  as  translation,  may  at  least  check  the  incapable 
with  some  fear  of  censure,  and  cheer  on  the  able  with 
some  small  hope  of  reasonable  fame. 

The  lights  and  shades  of  style  indicate  the  bias  of  an 
author's  mind.  In  describing  their  effacement  from  the 
English  version  of  this  History,  we  have  found  also  means 
to  indicate  what,  in  M.  Guizot's  case,  the  bias  is.  What  it 
is,  it  could  hardly  fail  to  be.  It  requires  but  the  opening 
sentence  of  the  volumes '  to  reveal  to  us  that  the  feelings  of 
the  writer  are  here  more  nearly  touched  than  they  had  been 
by  the  former  portion  of  his  narrative.  His  account  of 
the  Eevolution  down  to  the  King's  execution,  published 
more  than  thirty  years  ago,  was  given  in  a  style  as  calm 
as  it  was  clear :  but  here,  where  only  the  men  of  the  Re- 
public are  before  him,  though  he  is  still  philosophical,  and 
still  to  the  utmost  of  his  ability  a  righteous  judge,  a  ripple 
before  unseen  appears  upon  the  surface  of  his  judgment ; 
and  we  cannot  but  be  reminded  of  all  that  has  filled  up 
the  interval  since  that  first  portion  of  his  book  was  written. 
The  statesman  who  has  connected  his  own  name    in 

1  "J'ai  raconte  la   chute  d'une  *' struments  de  ses  grand  desseins 

•'  ancienne  monarchie  et  la  mort  "  sont  pleins  de  contradiction  et  de 

**  violente  d'un  roi  digne  de  respect,  *'  mystere  :  il  mele  et  unit  en  eux, 

**  quoiqu'il  ait  mal  et  injustement  *'  dans   des   proportions    profonde- 

"  gouverne  ses  peuples.     J'aimain-  **  ment  cachees,  les  qualites  et  les 

*'  tenant  ^  raconter  les  vains  efforts  *'  defauts,  les  vert  us  et  les  vices,  les 

"d'une   assemblee  rdvolutionnaire  **  lumieres  et  les  erreurs,   les  gran- 

•'  pour  fonder  une  republique,  et.le  "  deurs  et  les  faiblesses  ;  et  apres 

•'  gouverneraent    toujours    chance-  **  avoir  rempli  leur  temps  de  Feclat 

•*  laut,    bien  que  fort  et  glorieux,  '*  de  leurs  actions  et  de  leur  des- 

*'  d'un  despote  r^volutionnaire,  ad-  **  tin^e,    ils  demeurent  euxmemes 

"  mirable  par  son  hardi  et  judi-  "  obscurs  au   sein   de  leur  gloire, 

"  cieux  genie,  quoiqu'il  ait  attaque  *'  encenses  et  maudits  tour  a  tour 

"  etdetruit,  dans  son  pays,  d'abord  "  par  le  monde  qui  ne  les  connait 

**  I'ordre  legal,  puis  la  liberte.    Les  "  pas." 
* '  hommes  que  Dieu  prend  pour  in- 


Cromzvell.']         early  life  of  guizot.  15 

history  with  endeavours  to  preserve  a  king  and  a  consti- 
tution, and  who  saw  king  and  constitution  swept  away  to 
make  room  for  an  ephemeral  repubHc,  holds  fast  never- 
theless by  a  constitutional  monarchy  as  not  merely  the 
best  form  of  government,  but,  so  to  speak,  as  his  own 
cause,  and  regards  a  republic  with  some  sense  of  personal 
antagonism.  The  open  expression  of  this  is  as  far  as 
possible  subdued ;  but  not  the  less  is  it  discernible. 

Sixty-one  years  ago  a  high-spirited  young  lawyer  died 
at  Nimes  on  the  scaffold,  sentenced  to  death  for  his 
dislike  of  a  republic  by  a  court  obedient  to  the  French 
Republican  Convention.  That  young  man,  twenty-seven 
years  old  when  his  life  was  taken,  was  the  father  of  M. 
Guizot.  The  latter  was  only  a  boy  of  seven  at  the  time, 
but  he  was  old  enough  to  receive  into  his  soul  an  undy- 
ing recollection  of  the  murder  in  the  name  of  Hberty  that 
made  a  widow  of  his  mother.  The  decree  which  took 
away  the  father's  life  and  confiscated  his  possessions, 
ordered  also  that  his  childi-en, — the  boy  just  named, 
and  another  little  son, — should  be  committed  to  the 
foundling  hospital,  and  brought  up  in  accordance  with  a 
revolutionary  law.  But  their  mother,  a  noble  woman, 
whom  her  eldest-born,  then  become  a  statesman  and 
historian  of  European  fame,  saw  grieving  after  fifty  years 
of  widowhood  with  fresh  tears  for  the  husband  of  her 
youth,  took  them  with  the  wreck  of  her  fortune  out  of 
France,  and  dwelt  with  them  for  six  years  at  Geneva, 
watching  carefully  their  education.  Father  and  mother 
had  been  pious  Protestants,  finn  against  the  pressm-e  of 
reHgious  persecution ;  and,  open  to  all  grave  and  noble 
influences,  M.  Guizot's  boyhood  at  Geneva  was  full  of  the 
promise  which  his  manhood  more  than  fulfilled.  By  the 
reflective  tone  of  his  mind,  by  his  skill  in  reasoning,  by  a 
surprising  aptitude  for  the  acquisition  of  languages,  and 
by  a  taste  for  historical  inquiry,  even  so  early  he  dis- 
tinguished himself.  Sent  at  the  age  of  eighteen  as  a  law 
student  to  Paris,  his  abilities  were  quickly  recognised  by 
men  ready  to  turn  them  to  account.  His  pen  was  soon 
brought  into  use  ;  and  his  literary  talents  as  well  as  in- 
dustry were  displayed  in  the  publication  by  him,  at  the 
age  of  twenty-two,  of  his  well  known  Dictionary  of 
Sy}ionyms.     He  had  begun  at  the  same  time  the  arduous 


16  A   FRENCH   statesman's   CAREER.  \Oliver 

enterprise  of  a  translation  of  Gibbon,  witb  original  notes  ; 
and  so  prompt  was  the  recognition  of  his  manifest  ability, 
that  at  the  age  of  twenty-four  he  was  made  professor  of 
modem  history  at  the  Faculty  of  Letters. 

Through  all  the  troubles  of  France  during  the  years 
that  ensued,  M.  Guizot,  known  as  a  man  of  the  future, 
steadily  maintained  his  position.  "Whatsoever  he  believed 
to  be  anarchy,  he  calmly  but  determinedly  opposed. 
Standing  between  republican  and  despot  in  the  days  of 
Bonaparte  and  of  Charles  X,  with  a  moral  courage  free 
from  display  of  passion,  he  held  firm  to  the  lesson  of  his 
life  which  study  had  strengthened  in  him,  that  the  quiet 
reign  of  a  constitutional  king,  upon  a  system  liberally 
conservative,  is  the  condition  of  prosperity  and  peace  for 
the  French  people,  or  for  any  people  fairly  civilised. 
Order,  with  Liberty,  was  his  creed  in  those  days ;  as  to 
the  present  it  has  remained  his  belief  that  Liberty  must 
be  protected  by  Order.  One  of  his  first  political  pam- 
phlets was  upon  Eepresentative  Government ;  another 
was  upon  the  mode  of  conducting  Government  and  Oppo- 
sition. One  of  the  first  historical  inquiries  on  which  he 
entered  was  a  discovery  for  himself  of  the  origin  and 
causes  of  our  great  Eevolution.  He  published  an  account 
of  it  to  the  death  of  Charles  I ;  and,  with  a  spirit  and  enter- 
prise which  has  yet  found  no  parallel  in  England  itself, 
he  completed,  in  no  less  than  twenty-six  octavo  volumes, 
a  translated  collection  of  memoirs  and  histories  relating 
to  it.  As  a  writer,  we  should  not  omit  to  add,  his  first 
commanding  success  was  won  by  his  elaborate  Lectures 
on  the  origin  of  Representative  Government  in  Europe, 
delivered  at  the  temporary  cost  of  his  chair  when  France 
sorely  needed  reliable  and  sound  information  on  that 
matter. 

At  last  came  the  revolution  of  1830,  and  there  was 
placed  upon  the  French  throne  a  ruler  whose  obvious 
interest  it  was,  at  once  to  resist  all  extremes  of  democratic 
passion  and  to  establish  a  government  that  should  in  its 
nature  be  liberal  not  less  than  conservative :  enough  of 
the  former  to  be  safe,  and  of  the  latter  to  satisfy  European 
statesmen.  In  such  a  course  there  was  no  man  in  France 
so  fit  to  counsel  the  King  and  serve  the  country  as  M. 
Guizot.     The  student  of  history,  so  skilful  and  so  dispas- 


Cromwell.']  cojsflicts  with  french  republicans.    17 

sionate,  became  accordingly  Minister  of  Interior  to  Louis 
Philij^pe.  Subsequently  be  gave  his  earnest  support, 
though  out  of  office,  to  the  Ministry  of  Casimir  Perier ; 
and  he  afterwards  held  the  Portfolio  of  Public  Instruction 
for  nearly  five  years,  bet^Yeen  1832  and  1837.  During 
the  summer  of  1840,  he  was  Ambassador  in  England  ; 
at  the  close  of  that  year  he  formed  the  Ministry  in  which 
he  took  the  charge  of  Foreign  Affairs,  but  of  which  he 
was  the  virtual  head ;  and  finally,  on  the  death  of  Mar- 
shal Soult,  in  September  1847,  he  became  its  nominal  as 
well  as  actual  chief,  and  Prime  Minister  of  France.  The 
beginning  of  this  career  of  office  was  employed  in  decisive 
suppression  of  all  active  revolutionary  opposition  to  the 
new  monarchy.  The  middle  of  it  saw  him  the  successful 
founder  of  a  system  of  national  education  for  his  country- 
men, far  better  than  anything  of  a  similar  kind  even  yet 
attempted  in  Great  Britain.  And  it  is  quite  possible 
that  the  close  of  it  might  have  placed  within  his  power 
the  salvation  of  the  French  monarchy,  if,  in  the  critical 
hour,  a  failing  king  had  not  forsaken  his  counsels.  The 
throne  fell ;  and  the  same  republican  wrath  which  had 
destroyed  his  father,  again  beat  and  surged  around  the 
monarchist  statesman.  But  whatever  his  failures,  in 
theory  or  in  action,  M.  Guizot  never  failed  in  probity. 
He  never  flinched  from  the  trial  of  his  principles  ;  never 
feU  from  his  oaths  or  his  professions  ;  never  in  his  public 
conduct  abated  what  his  secret  conscience  exacted.  There 
have  been  many  greater  statesmen,  but  few  so  altogether 
free  from  moral  stain. 

Yet  in  his  own  country,  where  republicanism  has  been 
identified  with  revolution,  there  has  been  no  man,  with 
of  course  one  exception,  against  whom  so  much  ill  has 
been  spoken  by  republicans ;  and  he  had  borne  from 
them,  for  many  of  the  last  years  of  his  life  as  a  statesman, 
the  incessant  sting  of  calumny.  In  resuming  at  its  close, 
therefore,  the  story  of  a  short-lived  repubHc,  he  found 
before  him  the  moral  of  the  creed  which  for  sixty  years 
had  been  his  private  and  his  pubhc  enemy.  Not  for  this 
reason,  however,  which  his  true  scholar's  spirit  would 
disown,  did  he  then,  after  the  storm  of  his  active  life  was 
over,  return  to  the  study  of  the  revolution  which  earliest 
had  engaged  his  attention ;  but  because,  unlike  that  in 


18  THE    OLD   ENGLISH   REPUBLICANS.  \OUver 

progress  and  still  undetermined  in  France,  it  was  in  itself 
complete,  it  admitted  of  a  perfect  scrutiny,  and  it  offered 
the  fairest  prospect  of  historical  instruction.  The  History 
of  the  Commonwealth  and  Cromivell  is  the  second  of  the 
four  parts  into  which  he  divides  it  (the  third  heing  that  of 
Richard  Cromwell,  of  which  by  the  favour  of  M.  Guizot, 
the  early  portion  is  also  before  us) ;  and  remembering 
that  the  very  pulse  of  its  author's  life  beats  in  it,  we 
may  well  be  surprised  to  find  its  stroke  so  regular  and 
calm. 

Far  from  reviling  our  historical  republicans,  whose 
high-minded  endeavours  he  has  quite  nobility  enough  to 
understand,  M.  Guizot  points  out  that  the  experiment 
they  made  was  not  in  their  time  associated  with  any  of 
those  ideas  of  mere  revolt  and  lawlessness  which  have 
lately  been  connected  with  such  attempts.  Under 
honourable  forms  only,  as  in  Italy,  Switzerland,  or  the 
Netherlands,  was  republican  government  then  known ; 
and  the  attempt  to  convert  the  English  Monarchy  into  a 
Republic,  was,  to  put  his  idea  into  plain  words,  such  an 
experiment  as  decent  men  might  put  their  hands  to.  In 
the  eyes  of  continental  nations  it  had  also  a  religious 
aspect ;  and  though  he  believes  it,  as  a  republican  move- 
ment, to  have  been  a  mistake,  he  not  the  less  believes, 
that,  but  for  the  violence  necessarily  incident  to  the 
transition  from  a  kingdom  to  a  commonwealth,  the  scheme 
might  have  been  a  successful  one.  But,  in  his  judgment, 
a  republic  founded  upon  revolution  finds  its  works  soon 
clogged  by  that  property  in  its  founders,  which,  calling 
itself  and  thinking  itself  republican  zeal,  is  in  reality 
nothing  but  revolutionary  obstinacy. 

Thus,  as  might  have  been  expected,  M.  Guizot  is  too 
accurate  a  thinker  to  condemn  wholly  as  theory  that 
scheme  of  government,  in  the  formal  establishment  of 
which  both  England  and  France,  each  in  its  own  manner 
and  degree,  have  up  to  this  time  failed,  but  not  a  few  of 
whose  most  practical  and  substantial  results  have  never- 
theless been  left  to  both  countries.  Every  way  worthy 
of  notice,  indeed,  is  the  reflection  with  which  he  opens 
the  third  section  of  his  labours,  when,  in  the  narrative 
of  E/ichard  CromweU  and  his  troubles,  following  upon 


Cromivell.~\    worthiness  of  their  design.  19 

that  of  Eichard's  father  and  his  triumphs,  he  is  about  to 
relate  the  career  of  the  revived  Long  Parliament.  A 
Bepuhlic,  he  argues,  when  it  is,  among  any  people,  the  na- 
tural and  true  result  of  its  social  state,  of  its  ideas  and  of 
its  manners,  is  a  Government  worthy  of  all  S5rmpathy 
and  respect.  It  may  have  its  vices,  theoretical  and  prac- 
tical; but  it  honours  and  serves  humanity,  which  it 
stimulates  to  the  healthy  gathering  up  of  its  higher 
energies  and  moral  forces,  and  can  lift  to  a  very  lofty 
degree  of  dignity  and  virtue,  of  prosperity  and  glory. 
Not  so  with  a  Republic  untimely  and  factitious,  foreign 
to  the  national  history  and  manners,  introduced  by  the 
egotism  of  faction,  and  sustained  by  the  pride  that  is 
begotten  of  it.  He  holds  this  to  be  a  government  de- 
testable in  itself,  because  full  of  falsehood  and  violence  ; 
and  having  also  the  deplorable  consequence,  that  it  dis- 
credits in  the  minds  of  nations  the  principles  of  political 
right  and  the  guarantees  of  liberty,  by  the  false  applica- 
tion and  tyrannical  use  they  are  put  to,  or  by  the  hypo- 
critical violation  they  are  made  to  suffer.  Though  hostile, 
therefore,  to  all  crude  attempts  at  the  establishment  of 
a  Republic,  no  unfair  measure  is  dealt  out  by  the 
French  statesman  to  our  republican  forefathers.  That 
they  should,  after  all,  have  failed  principally  because 
their  hopes  were  pitched  too  high,  is  not  a  fact  which 
such  a  man  can  dismiss  with  indifference,  whatever  his 
sense  of  the  needs  of  practical  statesmanship  may  be. 
He  rather.  Frenchman  as  he  is,  rejoices  to  show  them  to 
us  with  Mazarin  hat  in  hand  before  them ;  spurning  the 
fair  outside  of  civility  with  which  the  wily  French-Italian 
would  have  approached  them ;  and  finally  bringing  him 
to  a  frank  submission,  while  the  Queen  Mother  Henrietta, 
standing  by  his  side,  gnashes  her  teeth  at  his  enforced 
recognition  of  ''  these  infamous  traitors." 

In  illustration  of  the  kind  of  men  whom  the  traitors 
sought  out  for  employment,  too,  there  stands  a  somewhat 
memorable  record  in  their  Council  Book,  which  we  can 
conceive  appealing  to  M.  Guizot  with  the  same  sort  of 
interest  it  still  possesses  for  Englishmen,  notwithstanding 
his  too  manifest  predilection  for  those  powers  only  "  which 
"  are  based  upon  right  and  sanctioned  by  time.'*  It  is 
the  official  notice  of  Sir  Harry  Yane's  and  Mr.  Henry 

0  2 


20  MILTON   AND   THE    COUNCIL.  [OHver 

Marten's  risit,  one  March  evening  in  1649,  armed  with 
the  authority  of  the  Council  of  State  of  which  they  were 
members,  to  "  the  lodging  of  Mr.  John  Milton,  in  a  small 
"  house  in  Holbom,  which  opens  backwards  into  Lincoln's 
*'  Inn  Fields,  to  speak  to  Mr.  Milton,  to  know.  Whether 
"  he  will  be  employed  as  Secretary  for  the  Foreign 
*'  Languages  ?  and  to  report  to  the  Council."  One  of 
the  first  declarations  of  that  Council  had  been  that  they 
would  neither  write  to  other  States,  nor  receive  answers, 
but  in  the  tongue  which  was  common  to  all  countries,  and 
fittest  to  record  great  things,  the  subject  of  future  history ; 
and  hence  the  visit  to  the  small  house  in  Holborn.  We 
may  feel  quite  sure  that  M.  Guizot  would  think  none 
the  worse  of  the  Council  for  this  little  circumstance: 
though  we  cannot  quite  satisfy  ourselves  as  to  the  autho- 
rity with  which  he  describes  the  Lord  Protector,  in  later 
days,  eager  to  profit  by  Milton's  genius  and  ascendancy, 
and  continuing  to  employ  the  talents  left  at  his  disposal 
by  the  Government  he  displaced,  but  putting  no  faith  in 
the  wisdom  of  their  wondrous  possessor ;  supplying  him 
with  funds  to  afi'ord  liberal  hospitaHty,  at  his  house  and 
table  in  Whitehall,  to  such  foreign  men  of  letters  as  came 
to  visit  England,  but,  while  chief  of  the  State,  admitting 
him  into  no  personal  intimacy,  and  studiously  withhold- 
ing from  him  all  public  influence.  Such  may  have  been 
the  relations  of  Milton  and  Cromwell;  but  we  do  not 
know  the  authority  on  which  the  statement  rests,  and 
what  we  do  know  of  the  circumstances  attending  the 
interference  for  the  Yaudois  would  lead  us  to  entertain 
very  considerable  doubts  of  it. 

Milton  is  M.  Guizot's  ideal  of  the  highest  of  the  repub- 
lican statesmen,  grand  but  unpractical.  He  depicts  him 
revelhng  in  a  dream  of  liberty,  and  taking  pleasure  as  a 
poet  in  sublime  thoughts  and  majestic  words,  without 
inquiring  whether  every- day  life  held  within  it  any  answer 
to  such  aspirations.  In  his  case,  according  to  M.  Guizot, 
abstract  reasoning  so  far  misguided  a  noble  heart,'  a 
passionate  and  dreamy  intellect,  as  to  render  his  wisdom 
of  less  service  than  it  miorht  have  been  in  the  actual 


1  "  Un  noble  coeur,"  says    M.  Guizot.     "A  stern  hat  noble  heart, 
says  his  translator. 


Cromwell.']  glory  of  the  commonwealth.  21 

conduct  of  affairs.  And  as  with  him,  so  in  less  degree 
with  the  other  statesmen  of  the  Commonwealth — scho- 
lastic, theoretical  repubKcans ;  in  their  way,  too,  in  regard 
to  much  they  took  in  hand,  mere  high-minded  dreamers ; 
and  possessed,  according  to  a  foolish  homely  phrase,  of 
every  sense  but  common  sense.  Yet  it  is  the  belief  of 
M.  Gfuizot,  that  with  a  dignified  reserve  and  an  intelli- 
gent prudence  these  adventurous  statesmen  entered  upon, 
and  for  the  most  part  discharged,  their  work.  The 
country  coldly  supported  them,  indeed,  and  abroad  they 
were  detested ;  nevertheless,  as  they  well  knew,  they 
were  not  menaced,  and  they  had  otherwise  much  upon 
their  side.  They  included  men  of  spotless  integrity,  such 
as  Sydney,  Ludlow,  Bradshaw,  Marten,  Hutchinson,  and 
Harrington ;  they  could  boast  of  men  of  the  highest  ad- 
ministrative ability,  such  as  Henry  Yane ;  they  had  in 
their  service  Eobert  Blake,  a  man  of  the  noblest  stuff  of 
which  English  heroism  is  made ;  they  were  impassioned 
on  behalf  of  their  cause  ;  and  they  were  swayed  through- 
out by  no  meaner  or  less  exalted  interest  than  that  of 
seeing  it  triumph.  The  cause  itself,  too,  though  *'  peu 
"  sensee  et  antipathique  au  pays,"  was  noble  and  moral ; 
for  the  principles  presiding  over  it  were  a  faith  in  truth, 
and  an  affectionate  esteem  for  humanity,  respect  for  its 
rights,  and  the  desire  for  its  free  and  glorious  develop- 
ment. Nor  did  they  fail  to  accompKsh,  in  the  main 
successfully,  the  task  intrusted  to  them.  They  had  de- 
clared upon  assuming  power  that  they  would  vindicate 
their  country's  ancient  right  to  the  sovereignty  of  the 
seas,  and  they  did  not  rest  till  it  was  done.  They  had 
virtually  subdued  the  Dutch,  had  humbled  the  Portuguese 
and  the  Danes,  and,  hated  as  they  were  upon  the  Con- 
tinent, on  all  the  other  European  States  they  had  imposed 
peace,  at  the  period  of  their  fall.  Before  power  was  wrested 
from  them,  they  had  used  it  to  correct  not  a  little  of  the 
injustice  and  inequality  which  remained  to  be  redressed 
in  the  domestic  administration,  and  they  had  shown 
singular  and  indisputable  financial  ability.  But  the  his- 
torian thinks  it  was  also  incident  to  their  very  position 
that  many  errors  should  be  committed,  and  that  a  too 
prolonged  enjoyment  of  power  in  the  midst  of  chaos 
should  prove  disastrous  to  some  among  themselves.    And 


22  FATE  or  THE  REPUBLIC.  [OUver 

he  shows,  from  the  secret  correspondence  of  the  agents 
of  Mazarin,  what  a  number  of  people  there  were  in  the 
City  who  resembled  a  certain  respectable  merchant  and 
news-writer,  Mr.  Morrell,  eager  for  any  sort  of  change, 
tired  of  a  multiplicity  of  masters,  and  ready  to  hope  better 
things  from  one  than  from  a  hundred.  We  want  greater 
secrecy,  wrote  the  thrifty  Mr.  Morrell,  more  promptitude, 
less  speechifying,  more  work.  In  a  word,  three  great 
causes  were  surely  and  steadily  conspiring  to  the  fall 
of  the  republic.  There  was  matter  both  corrupt  and 
obstructive  in  its  lower  divisions ;  there  was  a  nation, 
reverent  of  law,  heavily  and  surely  swaying  back  to 
monarchy ;  and,  worse  than  all,  the  very  heart  of  the 
republican  ranks  held  within  it  a  leader  in  their  army, 
a  man  mighty  in  battle,  the  main  support  of  the  Com- 
monwealth itself,  born  with  an  instinct  of  command,  born 
with  a  genius  for  government,  eminently  practical,  and 
utterly  unscrupulous.     That  is  M.  Guizot's  Cromwell. 

A  man  who  had  the  pitiless  sagacity  to  see  the  worth 
of  an  enemy  only  to  recognise  the  necessity  of  at  once 
putting  him  out  of  the  way,  he  was  able  not  less,  in  the 
judgment  of  the  French  historian,  to  conceal  effectually 
his  own  pride  and  pretensions,  and  carry  exposed  upon 
his  sleeve  only  an  irresistible  semblance  of  self-denial. 
"  No  great  man,"  exclaims  M.  Guizot,  "  ever  carried  the 
**  hypocrisy  of  modesty  so  far  as  Cromwell,  or  so  easily 
"  subordinated  his  vanity  to  his  ambition."  So  little  also 
can  M.  Guizot  discover  of  system  in  his  mind,  so  little 
does  he  find  him  under  the  influence  of  preconceived 
ideas  of  any  kind,  that  he  believes  him  to  have  had  no 
really  fixed  principles  at  all  on  questions  civil  or  religious. 
But,  though  he  was  not  a  philosopher,  and  did  not  act 
in  obedience  to  systematic  and  premeditated  views,  he 
was  guided  by  the  superior  instinct  and  practical  good 
sense  of  a  man  destined  by  the  hand  of  God  to  govern  ; 
and  he  possessed,  above  all,  the  consummate  secret  of 
the  governing  art  which  consists  in  a  just  appreciation  of 
what  will  be  sufiicient  in  every  given  circumstance,  and 
in  resting  satisfied  with  that.  He  had,  moreover,  an 
unerring  instinct  of  the  drift  of  the  people  by  which 
he  brought  them  to  his  side ;  and  the  historian  thinks 
it  an  extreme  proof  of  the  relations  he  maintained,  and 


Cromwell.']     the  protector  and  the  cardinal.      23 

the  hopes  he  inspired,  among  persons  of  all  ranks  and 
creeds,  that  he  should  have  been  able  to  suggest  himself 
as  their  best  resource,  not  simply  to  sectaries  of  all  sorts, 
— Unitarians,  Jews,  Muggletonians,  and  Freethinkers, 
but  even  to  Roman  Catholics  and  Episcopalians.  Giving 
credit  to  the  earliest  reports  which  represent  him  as  by 
councils  and  conversations  feeling  his  way  towards  the 
dignity  of  King,  it  was  yet,  according  to  M.  Guizot,  his 
rare  faculty  throughout  to  understand  the  ne  quid  nimis 
in  the  art  of  government ;  and  acting  upon  it,  bitter  as 
the  trial  was,  he  finally  denied  himself  the  Crown.  He 
possessed,  says  the  historian,  the  two  qualities  that  make 
men  great.  He  was  sensible,  and  he  was  bold ;  indomitable 
in  his  hopes,  yet  never  the  victim  of  illusion. 

What  is  thus  said  of  the  absence  of  system  in  Crom- 
well's ambition,  let  us  remark,  finds  such  striking  illus- 
tration in  a  passage  of  the  Cardinal  de  Retz's  Memoirs, 
that  we  are  surprised  it  should  have  escaped  M.  Guizot. 
Having  occasion  to  quote  the  description,  from  that  very 
clever  book,  of  Yane's  secret  mission  from  Cromwell  and 
the  Council  of  State  immediately  after  the  victory  of 
Worcester,  when  the  Cardinal  found  the  envoy  a  man  of 
such  *'  surprising  capacity,"  '  the  historian  should  not  have 
laid  down  the  volume,  we  think,  without  reproducing 
from  a  somewhat  later  page  one  of  the  shrewdest  of  all 
its  hints  for  statesmen,  embodied  in  the  following  memo- 
rable dialogue.  The  Cardinal  is  talking,  during  Crom- 
well's protectorate,  with  the  First  President  of  the  Parlia- 
ment of  Paris,  M.  de  Bellievre.  "  I  understand  you," 
says  the  President  at  a  particular  point  of  their  argument, 
"  and  I  stop  you  at  the  same  time  to  tell  you  what  I  have 
"  learnt  from  Cromwell."  (M.  de  Bellievre,  interposes 
the  Cardinal,  had  seen  and  known  him  in  England.) 
"  He  said  to  me  one  day,  that  One  never  mounted  so  high 
"  as  ivhen  one  did  not  know  ichere  one  was  going.''  AYhere- 
upon  says  the  Cardinal  to  the  President,  *'  You  know 
"  that  I  have  a  horror  of  Cromwell ;  but,  however  great 

1  An  admission,  we  may  observe,  down  to  the  last  and  best  edition 

of  -whicli  the  French  editors  have  of    MM.   Michard  and    Foujoiilat, 

hitherto  done  their  best  to  deprive  which  restores  the  suppressed  pas- 

the  great  English  republican  by  in-  sages,  and  from  which  we  quote), 

variably  printing   his  name  (even  as  Vairc^  Vere,  or  Vainc. 


24  AMBITION   WITHOUT   A   PLAN.  \_Oliver 

"  a  man  tliey  may  think  him,  I  add  to  this  horror,  con- 
"  tempt ;  for  if  that  be  his  opinion,  he  seems  to  me  to  be 
"  a  fooL"  The  Cardinal  proceeds  to  tell  ns  that  he 
reports  this  dialogue,  which  is  nothing  in  itself,  to  make 
us  see  the  importance  of  never  speaking  of  people  who 
are  in  great  posts.  For  Monsieur  the  President,  return- 
ing to  his  cabinet  where  there  were  several  people, 
repeated  the  remark  without  reflection,  as  a  proof  of  the 
injustice  which  was  done  their  friend  the  Cardinal  when 
it  was  said  that  his  ambition  was  without  measure  and 
without  bounds.  All  which  was  straightway  carried  off 
to  my  Lord  Protector  of  England,  who  remembered  it 
with  bitterness  ;  and  took  occasion  not  long  after  to  say 
to  M.  de  Bordeaux,  the  Ambassador  of  France  at  his 
Court,  /  know  only  one  man  in  the  world  who  despises  me, 
and  that  is  Cardinal  de  Retz.  "  This  opinion,"  adds  the 
penitent  Cardinal,  "  had  very  nearly  cost  me  dear.'' 

The  truth  is,  that  Cromwell's  remark  by  no  means 
deserved  the  contemptuous  comment  of  De  Eetz.  It  is 
not  at  all  so  necessary,  as  the  Cardinal  appears  to  think, 
that  a  man  who  is  about  to  mount  high  should  have 
systematically  arranged  beforehand  to  what  exact  height 
he  shall  mount.  It  may  be  true,  that  in  all  ambitious 
men  there  will  necessarily  be  some  calculation,  and 
something  of  a  preconceived  plan ;  but  it  may  be  fairly 
doubted  whether  to  constitute  such  a  man  of  the  first 
order,  there  must  not  also  be  a  yet  larger  amount  of 
passion  to  outstrip  and  go  beyond  the  calculation.  In 
short,  to  whatever  extent  particular  plans  and  arrange- 
ments may  contribute  intermediately  to  success,  it  must 
ever  be  a  condition  of  the  highest  success  not  to  be  finally 
bound  by  them.  Between  the  fixity  of  all  men's  designs 
and  the  uncertainty  of  their  destiny,  there  is  an  interval 
so  large  and  vague,  that  it  is  there  the  highest  order  of 
genius  will  probably  most  often  find  its  occasions  and 
means,  its  power  and  opportunity ;  and  we  think  it  very 
certain  that  wherever  the  highest  has  been  reached  to 
which  it  was  possible  to  attain,  the  courage  to  undergo 
a  risk  must  at  least  have  been  as  great  as  the  patience 
to  profit  by  a  plan.  We  go  farther  in  Cromwell's  case, 
for  we  are  very  certain  he  began  with  no  plan  at  all,  but  a 
zeal  for  what  he  honestly  believed  to  be  Gfod's  truth,  and 


Cromwell,']        early  life  of  oliver.  25 

for  the  establishment  of  a  government  that  should  he 
according  to  God's  will. 

Who  that  is  at  all  acquainted  with  his  entire  history- 
will  believe,  that  when  the  final  summons  of  array  reached 
him,  he  knew,  as  he  buckled  on  his  sword,  whither  he 
was  going  ?  He  had  lived  for  nearly  forty  years  the 
useful  unassuming  life  from  which  parliamentary  duties 
first  called  him  away,  cultivating  his  native  acres  in  the 
Eastern  fens,  tilling  the  earth,  reading  his  Bible,  assist- 
ing persecuted  preachers,  and  himself  kneeling  daily  with 
his  servants  around  him  in  exhortation  and  prayer. 
When  he  went  up  with  Hampden  to  take  his  seat  in  the 
Long  Parliament,  he  was  by  birth  a  gentleman,  as  he 
described  himself  ten  years  later  to  the  first  parliament 
of  the  Protectorate,  Hving  at  no  great  height,  nor  yet  in 
obscurity.  He  had  not  been  without  the  means,  that  is, 
of  challenging  distinction,  if  such  had  been  his  wish. 
He  had  been  dragged  before  the  Privy  Council '  without 
claiming  the  honours  of  a  martyr,  and  he  had  led  an  agita- 
tion against  the  great  lords  of  his  county  without  aspiring 
to  the  rewards  of  a  hero.  In  resisting  a  particular  grie- 
vance, he  had  made  himself  the  most  popular  and  powerful 
man  in  all  that  district  of  the  fens  ;  but,  satisfied  when 
the  work  was  done,  he  had  sought  no  further  advantage 
from  the  popularity  and  power  acquired  in  doing  it. 
There  is  nothing  so  striking,  in  connection  with  Cromwell's 
history,  as  the  steady  uniformity  of  the  picture  it  presents, 
of  a  man  doing  his  duty  in  the  station  and  offices  of  life  to 
which  his  duty  has  called  him.  JSTo  new  discovery  we  have 
made,  none  that  we  have  the  chance  of  making,  is  likely 
to  disturb  or  unsettle  that  picture  by  a  single  adverse 
trait.  As  he  appears  to  us  everywhere  else,  when  honestly 
reported,  we  found  him  lately  when  the  blotted  page  of 
D'Ewes  revealed  its  secrets  to  us.  There  is  never  any 
fussy  activity  about  him,  and  no  superfluous  energy.  We 
see  always  the  least  possible  of  himself.  There  is  nothing 
over- anxious  or  restless,  or  that  interferes  for  an  instant 
with  the  sole  straightforward  purpose  of  arriving  in  the 

1  This  curious  and  hitherto  un-  that  most  intelligent  and  able  of 

known  incident  in  his   career  was  antiquaries,  Mr.  John  Bruce,  and  by 

lately  discovered  in  a  search  among  him  communicated  to  the  Athenceum 

the  registers  of  the  Privy  Council  by  of  the  13th  of  October,  1855. 


JJ6  CAKEER   OF   THE    LORD    GENERAL.  \_Oliver 

shortest  and  most  effectual  manner  at  tlie  point  he  desires 
to  reach.  Certainly  this,  too,  is  uniformly  the  character  of 
his  early  exploits  in  the  war.  All  that  appears  essential 
to  him  is  that  he  must  actually  do  the  work  he  has  in 
hand,  and  to  this  he  is  bent  exclusively.  When,  in  con- 
versation with  his  cousin  Hampden  at  the  close  of  the  first 
doubtful  year  of  the  conflict,  he  threw  out  the  remark  which 
contained  the  germ  of  all  his  subsequent  victories,  who  will 
believe  that  his  thoughts  were  travelling  beyond  the  duty 
and  necessity  of  the  hour  ?  His  experience  in  the  field 
had  taught  him  why  it  was  the  royalists  gained  upon 
their  adversaries  in  battle,  and  he  at  once  declared  that 
it  would  not  do  to  go  on  enlisting  "  poor  tapsters  and 
"  town- apprentice  people  "  against  well-born  cavaliers  ; 
but  that,  to  cope  with  men  of  honour,  men  of  religion 
must  be  enrolled.  When  he  expressed  this  design  to 
Hampden,  it  might  be  said  that,  on  the  instant,  the  whole 
issue  of  the  war  was  determined ;  but  is  it  necessary  to 
suppose  him  carrying  his  own  thoughts  so  far  ?  When 
ho  proceeded  to  organise  his  God-fearing  regiment  of 
Ironsides,  is  it  conceivable  that  he  cared,  or  was  troubled 
to  anticipate,  to  what  a  destiny  they  might  bear  himself  ? 
Clarendon  has  made  it  a  reproach  against  him,  that  on 
one  occasion  he  said  he  could  tell  what  he  would  itot 
have,  but  not  what  he  would  have  ;  but  was  not  this  only 
another  expression  of  the  thought,  that  he  had  no  concern 
but  the  duty  of  the  hour,  no  wish  but  to  do  it  in  the  hour, 
and  that  he  knew  not  and  cared  not  whither  it  might 
lead  him  ? 

As  time  went  on,  indeed,  as  he  commanded  armies, 
won  battles,  and  saw  himself  indisputably  the  first  soldier 
and  captain  in  the  war,  to  direct  and  govern  men  became 
clearly  as  much  a  part  of  his  no  longer  avoidable  duty,  as 
any  commonest  avocation  that  had  occupied  him  on  his 
Ely  farm.  With  this,  too,  let  it  also  be  admitted,  there 
must  of  course  have  opened  upon  him  that  wider  range  of 
worldly  opportunities  to  which,  whether  they  shape  them- 
selves to  ambition,  or  any  other  inclination  of  the  mind,  it 
is  so  easy  to  give  the  name,  or  to  make  available  under 
the  sanction,  of  duty  itself.  Doubtless  to  many  such 
temptations  Cromwell  yielded.  In  his  religious  creed  he 
is  said  (we  must  confess  on  what  seems  to  us  very  doubt- 


Cromwell,']         "our  chief  of  men."  %t 

ful  authority)  to  have  held  the  somewhat  dangerous 
doctrine,  that  having  once  heen  in  a  state  of  grace  it  was 
not  possible  to  fall  from  it ;  and  from  time  to  time,  if 
this  were  so,  it  must  insensibly  have  relaxed  to  him  even 
the  restraints  of  religion  itself.  But  that  there  was  any 
conscious  hypocrisy  in  his  language,  or  any  settled  scheme 
of  mere  ambition  in  his  conduct,  we  find  it  difiicult  to 
believe.  Higher  and  higher  as  he  was  mounting,  still  to 
the  last  he  might  have  asked  himself — Whither  ?  When, 
at  the  close  of  the  war,  he  appears  heaped  with  all  the 
favours  a  grateful  people  and  parliament  could  bestow, 
there  is  yet  not  one  which  had  not  fallen  to  him  naturally, 
or  that  it  would  not  have  been  monstrous  as  well  as 
foolish  to  deny  to  him.  Every  step  of  the  ascent  had 
been  solidly  and  laboriously  won  ;  he  stood  upon  it  as  of 
right ;  and  surely  no  man  ever  rose  so  high  with  less  of 
what  we  must  call  usurpation.  In  the  honours  paid  to 
him,  in  the  very  trappings  of  state  thrown  over  him,  when 
he  left  London  upon  his  last  campaign  and  returned  with 
the  final  victory,  there  was  not  a  man  in  the  popular 
ranks,  of  however  rigid  and  ascetic  public  virtue,  who 
might  not  feel  that  he  was  also  himself  participating  as 
in  a  gain  and  glory  of  his  own.  When  the  Lord  General 
passed  out  of  the  city  in  his  coach,  drawn  by  six  gallant 
Flanders  mares,  whitish  gray,  and  "  with  colonels  for 
*'  his  life  guard  such  as  the  world  might  not  parallel," — 
it  may  be  very  doubtful  if  less  would  have  satisfied  the 
most  exacting  republican,  whose  claims  and  whose  power 
he  then  and  there  represented.  When  he  returned  in  a 
more  than  regal  triumph,  receiving  homage  from  the 
populace,  halting  to  hawk  with  the  gentry,  and  present- 
ing horses  and  prisoners  to  the  parliamentary  delegates 
appointed  to  give  him  welcome, — it  was  yet  but  the 
glory  of  their  common  country  which  all  men  were  con- 
tent to  see  reflected,  in  the  ceremony  and  the  pomp  which 
surrounded  him. 

Should  it  be  matter  of  blame,  then,  that  still  he  rose  to 
the  occasion  which  called  him,  and  that  even  this  position 
did  not  take  him  unawares  ?  As  he  farmed  at  Ely  and 
St.  Ives,  as  he  fought  at  Marston  Moor  and  Naseby,  so 
now  he  fell  into  his  allotted  place  as  Milton's  "  chief  of 
''  men."     Such  is  the  sum  of  reproach  with  any  fairness 


28  SELF-CREATED    SOVEREIGNTYi  \Oliver 

up  to  this  date  to  be  imputed  to  him.  "  This  man  will 
"  be  King  of  England  yet,"  said  the  Eev.  Mr.  Peters 
inwardly  to  himself,  as  he  observed  at  the  time,  in  his 
air  and  manner,  an  indescribable  kind  of  exaltation.  Sir 
Philip  Warwick  afterwards  observed  it  too  ;  and,  being 
entirely  at  a  loss  to  reconcile  so  "  great  and  majestic  a 
"  deportment  and  comely  presence  "  with  what  he  re- 
membered of  his  very  ill-made  apparel,  and  not  very 
clean  or  sufficient  linen,  when  he  first  heard  him  speak  in 
the  parliament-house  twelve  years  before,  is  much  disposed 
to  attribute  the  change  to  the  fact  of  his  having  mean- 
while "  had  a  better  tailor  and  more  converse  among 
"  good  company."  The  same  difficulty  occurs  even  to 
Clarendon,  who  more  shrewdly  dismisses  it  with  the  re- 
mark, that  "  his  parts  seemed  to  be  raised,  as  if  he  had 
"  concealed  his  faculties  till  he  had  occasion  to  use  them." 
But  we  shall  not  ourselves  have  any  difficulty  at  all,  if 
we  simply  believe,  of  such  a  man,  that  only  the  occasion 
for  use  would  ever  tempt  him  to  the  assumption  or  dis- 
play. A  readiness  for  the  duty  of  the  hour,  and  no  rest- 
lessness beyond  it,  would  seem  to  be  the  lesson  of  Crom- 
well's life,  whatever  part  of  it  we  examine ;  and  if  we 
think  the  forcible  dissolution  of  the  Long  ParHament  an 
interruption  to  the  temperate  wisdom  which  generally 
guided  him  (and  here,  we  must  distinctly  state,  we  difier 
strongly  from  Mr.  Carlyle),  it  is  because  we  feel  that  with- 
out it  the  supreme  power  must  nevertheless  have  been 
his,  unattended  by  the  difficulties  in  which  the  conse- 
quences of  that  act  involved  him.  At  the  very  last,  he 
said  himself,  he  was  doubtful  about  doing  it ;  but  another 
and  stronger  impulse  got  the  mastery  over  him.  "  When 
"  I  went  there,"  he  told  his  council  of  officers,  "  I  did 
"  not  think  to  have  done  this.  But  perceiving  the  spirit 
"  of  God  so  strong  upon  me,  I  would  not  consult  ilesh 
"  and  blood."  And  so  we  arrive  again  at  what  he  told 
Monsieur  the  President  de  Bellievre,  that  One  never 
mounts  so  high  as  when  one  does  not  know  ivhere  one  is 
going. 

But  M.  Guizot  would  attach  little  importance  to  that 
stronger  impulse  which  the  Lord  General  there  professed 
to  have  over-ruled  him.  We  do  not  know  that  anything 
has    impressed  us  more   throughout  his  book  than  its 


Cromwell. 1  religious  element  in  revolution.      29 

extremely  partial  and  imperfect  recognition  of  the  reli- 
gious element,  which  formed  so  large  a  portion  not  merely 
of  Cromwell  himself,  but  of  the  entire  English  Eevolution. 
Doubtless  it  arises  from  the  fact  that  this  element,  so 
necessary  in  the  study  of  it,  lies  too  far  away  from  those 
evils  which  dwell  insensibly  and  most  strongly  upon  the 
historian's  mind,  and  from  which  his  study  of  these  great 
events  in  our  history  had  deHberately  or  unconsciously 
arisen.  He  is  even  careful  to  hint  his  belief,  more  than 
once,  that  there  were  in  those  days  more  infidels  in 
England  than  we  commonly  suppose.  It  is  curious  to 
contrast  his  view  in  this  respect  with  that  of  another 
French  writer,  M.  de  Lamartine,  who,  regarding  Crom- 
well from  the  thick  of  French  republicanism,  has  very 
partially  and  confusedly  (but  as  he  believes  wholly)  ac- 
cepted Mr.  Carlyle's  interpretation,  and  informs  his 
countrymen  that  Cromwell  was  a  fanatic.  M.  Guizot, 
himself  a  man  of  calm  unostentatious  piety,  and  not 
unfrequently  reminding  his  readers  that  a  Divine  Provi- 
dence is  ordering  and  disposing  the  affairs  of  States,  yet 
cannot  see  in  Cromwell  either  fanatic  or  chosen  man  of 
God.  In  no  part  of  his  history  of  Oliver  do  we  find  any 
swerving  from  this  view,  and  subsequent  reflection  appears 
only  to  have  confirmed  him  in  it.  In  the  whole  of  his 
account  of  Richard  CromweU  there  is  no  more  striking 
passage  than  that  in  which,  describing  the  respective 
positions  occupied  by  the  followers  of  Oliver  and  the  ad- 
vocates of  the  Republic,  he  again  expresses  forcibly  the 
distinction  between  the  purely  worldly  character  of  the 
Protectorate  and  the  Divine  purpose  it  was  called  to  ful- 
fil. The  Cromwellians  under  Richard,  he  says,  rather 
by  experience  and  political  instinct  than  by  any  principle 
clearly  comprehended  or  defined,  would  forcibly  have 
imposed  upon  the  people  the  second  Protectorate,  on  the 
ground  that  they  did  not  hold  the  people  to  be  itself 
sufficient  to  constitute  the  entire  Government,  or  to  possess 
the  right  to  unmake  and  reconstruct  it  at  its  pleasure.  In 
their  opinion  the  Government  requu-ed,  for  the  main- 
tenance and  good  order  of  societ}^,  some  base  independently 
subsistent,  recognised  by  the  people,  but  anterior,  and  in 
a  certain  degree  superior,  to  its  shifting  will.  Originally 
conquest,  afterwards  the  hereditary  principle  in  monarchy, 


30  OLIVER  PROTECTOR.  \^Olwer 

and  tlie  preponderance  of  great  landowners,  liad  created 
in  the  English.  Government  such  power,  independent  in 
itself,  immovable  in  right,  and  indispensable  to  society. 
By  the  course  of  things,  however,  the  territorial  proprie- 
torship had  in  part  changed  hands,  and,  by  its  own  faults, 
the  hereditary  principle  of  monarchy  had  succumbed. 
But  God  then  raised  up  Oliver,  and  gave  him  the  power 
with  the  victory.  Conqueror  and  actual  master,  sur- 
rounded by  his  comrades  in  war,  and  treating  with  a 
House  elected  by  the  people,  he  had  been  able  to  found, 
for  his  successor  as  for  himself,  the  Protectorate  and  its 
Constitution  ;  and  thus  was  provided  that  anterior  and 
independent  power,  born  of  events,  not  of  the  people's 
will,  and  which  the  people  should  be  held  as  little  able 
to  destroy  according  to  its  fancy,  as  it  had  been  able  of 
its  motion  to  create.  This  great  fact,  therefore,  accom- 
plished upon  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  monarchy,  and  in 
the  name  of  necessity,  by  the  genius  of  a  great  man  sus- 
tained by  God,  it  became  the  duty  of  all  men  to  recognise 
and  accept ;  and,  from  the  uniform  tone  of  M.  Guizot's 
argument,  it  is  manifest  that  he  would  himself  so  have 
accepted  it,  though  he  sees  that  it  carried  with  it  also  the 
seeds  of  failure  inseparable  from  its  revolutionary  origin. 
How  otherwise,  he  reasons,  could  it  be  ?  The  weak 
purpose  of  Richard  being  substituted  for  his  father's  iron 
will,  every  party  again  became  loud  in  the  assertion  of  his 
own  particular  theory ;  "  accomplices  became  rivals ;  " 
and  soon,  in  the  stormy  sea  of  faction,  the  good  ship  of 
the  Republic  drifted  an  utter  wreck.  Then  were  seen, 
according  to  the  historian,  the  faults  of  both  divisions,  of 
the  pure  republicans  and  of  the  adherents  of  Cromwell, 
revenging  themselves  upon  their  authors.  For,  what 
more  easy  than  the  way  at  last  appeared  to  be,  to  a  firm 
establishment  of  Richard  Cromwell's  government?  What- 
ever his  infirmities  of  character,  he  was  disliked  by  none. 
Golden  opinions  were  expressed  of  him  by  all  sorts  of 
people ;  and  the  whole  private  interest  of  the  members  of 
his  first  Parliament  lay  in  the  assurance  of  his  power, 
and  with  that  also  of  their  own  prosperity.  His  Govern- 
ment had  no  design  and  no  desire  of  tyranny  ;  Richard 
himself  was  naturally  moderate,  patient,  equitable  ;  and 
his  counsellors,  like  himself,  demanded  nothing  better 


Cromwell.~\     ideal  of  his  protectorate.  »3l 

than  to  govern  in  concert  with  the  Parliament,  and  ac- 
cording to  the  laws.  What,  then,  so  natural  or  so 
reasonable,  as  for  all  men  who  had  not  vowed  their 
hearts  to  the  old  royal  line  or  to  the  pure  republic,  to 
accommodate  themselves  to  the  regime  established,  and  to 
live,  by  common  consent,  tranquil  and  safe  under  the  new 
Protector  ?  But  it  was  not  to  be.  Though  their  empire 
had  vanished,  their  obstinacy  remained  unenlightened  and 
unsubdued.  Decried  as  visionaries,  they  retorted  by  ac- 
cusing their  country  of  ingratitude,  and  battled  vainly 
against  the  successive  defeats  which  they  knew  not  that 
the  hand  of  God  was  inflicting.  But  though  they  could 
not  build  they  could  destroy,  and  so  the  second  Protec- 
torate passed  away. 

We  have  thus  endeavoured  to  exhibit  the  process  of 
reasoning  by  which  M.  Guizot  has  arrived  at  his  judgment 
of  the  two  Protectorates.  We  by  this  means  not  un- 
fairly show,  at  the  same  time,  the  measure  and  degree  to 
which  he  has  been  able  to  exclude,  from  the  consideration 
of  both,  that  particular  element  in  Cromwell's  idea  of 
Government  which  led  him,  in  the  re-constitution  of  the 
State  with  a  view  to  its  bequest  to  his  successor,  to  be  indif- 
ferent whether  it  was  republican  or  monarchical  in  its 
form,  provided  only  that,  above  all  things,  it  was  godly 
in  its  spirit.  Yet  a  sound  and  true  perception  in  this 
respect  might  have  led  the  historian  to  more  just  con- 
clusions as  to  opinions  held  generally  by  Cromwell,  in 
regard  not  only  to  his  system  of  rule  during  life,  but  to  the 
succession  he  desired  to  leave  after  him.  Upon  a  close  ex- 
amination it  would  be  found,  we  suspect,  that  Cromwell's 
true  ideal  was  among  the  Jewish  forms  of  government 
disclosed  by  the  Sacred  Book,  even  such  as  showed,  in  the 
midst  of  the  petty  kings  of  Moab  and  Edom,  the  free  people 
of  Israel,  without  a  king,  living  majestically.  The  grand 
old  Hebrew  Judges  would  be  perhaps  his  nearest  model. 
But  his  historian  will  not  recognise  anything  of  this.  M. 
Guizot  thinks  his  mind  was  great,  because  it  was  just, 
perspicacious,  and  thoroughly  practical ;  but  of  this  great- 
ness he  does  not  find  that  religion  formed  an  essential 
part,  or  contributed  to  it  in  any  material  way.  He  avoids, 
indeed,  all  common-place  abuse.  He  knows  that  in 
Cromwell's  day  the  open  use  of  scriptural  language  wat 


32  STATE-CRAFT    OR   PERSONAL   PIETY  ?       \JDliver 

no  more  synonymous  with  cant,  than  republicanism  with 
discord  ;  but  in  both  cases  he  appears  to  think  that  the 
one  had  a  tendency  to  beget  the  other,  and  he  accepts 
Cromwell's  reported  comment  to  Waller  on  a  dialogue 
with  one  of  the  saints  ('*  we  must  talk  to  these  men  in 
"  their  own  way  "),  as  a  fair  hint  of  the  value  of  his  piety. 
It  was  no  more  than  one  portion,  and  not  the  chief,  of 
his  state  craft.  Even  the  rapt  and  exalted  fervour  of  his 
address  to  what  we  may  call  the  assembled  saiuts  in  the 
Barebones  Parliament,  M.  Guizot  attributes  to  those 
instincts  on  the  part  of  a  profound  genius  which  mark  his 
anxiety  to  derive,  as  though  immediately  from  God,  the 
pretended  supreme  power  which  he  had  himself  esta- 
blished, and  the  inherent  infirmity  of  which  he  already 
perceived.  We  certainly  cannot  but  regard  as  extremely 
remarkable  the  grave  indifference  with  which  the  French 
historian  is  thus  able  to  set  aside,  as  only  one  of  many 
means  towards  a  worldly  end,  the  fervent  vein  of  scrip- 
tural thought  and  feeling  which  runs  not  alone  through 
every  deliberate  work  of  Cromwell's,  but  tinges  also  his 
every  Hghtest  act,  and,  in  his  private  as  in  his  public 
utterances,  is  that  which  still  makes  most  impressive 
appeal  to  all  who  would  investigate  his  character. 

For,  this  we  hold  to  have  been  finally  established  by 
Mr.  Carlyle,  and  to  constitute  the  peculiar  value  of  his 
labours  in  connection  with  the  subject.  To  collect  and 
arrange  in  chronological  succession,  and  with  elucidatory 
comment,  every  authentic  letter  and  speech  left  by 
Cromwell,  was  to  subject  him  to  a  test  from  which  false- 
hood could  hardly  escape;  and  the  result  has  been  to 
show,  we  think  conclusively  and  beyond  further  dispute, 
that  through  all  these  speeches  and  letters  one  mind  runs 
consistently.  Whatever  a  man's  former  prepossessions 
may  have  been,  he  cannot  accompany  the  utterer  of  these 
speeches,  the  writer  of  these  letters,  from  their  first  page 
to  the  last,  travelling  with  him  from  his  grazing  lands  at 
St.  Ives  up  to  his  Protector's  throne ;  watching  him  in 
the  tenderest  intercourse  with  those  dearest  to  him ; 
observing  him  in  affairs  of  state  or  in  the  ordinary 
business  of  the  world,  in  offices  of  friendship  or  in  con- 
ference with  sovereigns  and  senates  ;  listening  to  him  as 
he  comforts  a  persecuted  preacher,  or  threatens  a  perse- 


Cromwell.']    peoofs  of  a  profound  sincerity.        33 

cuting  prince  ;  and  remain  at  last  with  any  other  con- 
viction than  that  in  all  conditions,  and  on  every  occasion, 
Cromwell's  tone  is  substantially  the  same,  and  that  in 
the  passionate  fervour  of  his  religious  feeling,  under  its 
different  and  varying  modifications,  the  true  secret  of  his 
life  must  be  sought,  and  will  be  found.  Everywhere 
recognisable  is  the  sense,  deeply  interpenetrated  with  his 
nature  and  life,  of  spiritual  dangers,  of  temporal  vicissi- 
tudes, and  of  never-ceasing  responsibility  to  the  Eternal. 
"  Ever  in  his  Great  Taskmaster's  eye."  Unless  you  can 
believe  that  you  have  an  actor  continually  before  you, 
you  must  believe  that  this  man  did  unquestionably 
recognise  in  his  Bible  the  authentic  voice  of  God; 
and  had  an  irremovable  persuasion  that  according  as, 
from  that  sacred  source,  he  learned  the  divine  law 
here  and  did  it,  or  neglected  to  learn  and  to  do  it,  infinite 
blessedness  or  infinite  misery  hereafter  awaited  him  for 
evermore. 

It  is  also  clear  to  us  from  the  letters,  with  only  such 
reservation  as  we  have  already  intimated,  and  after  the 
large  allowance  to  be  made  in  every  case  for  human 
passion  and  frailty,  that  Cromwell  was,  to  all  practical 
intents,  as  far  removed  on  the  one  hand  from  fanaticism, 
as,  on  the  other,  from  hypocrisy.  It  is  certainly  not 
necessary  that  we  should  accept  it  as  proof  of  fanaticism, 
that,  on  the  day  before  setting  out  to  the  war  with  Scot- 
land, he  enlarged  to  Ludlow  upon  the  great  providences 
of  God  then  abroad  upon  the  earth,  and  in  particular 
talked  to  him  for  almost  an  hour  upon  the  hundred  and 
tenth  psalm.  We  have  but  to  remember  it  as  the  psalm 
in  which  God's  promise  was  given  to  make  his  enemies 
his  footstool,  to  make  his  people  willing,  and  to  strike 
through  kings  in  the  day  of  his  wrath, — to  understand 
why  Cromwell  so  recalled  it  on  the  eve  of  his  last  entrance 
into  battle.  It  is  as  little  necessary  that  we  should  accept, 
as  proof  of  hypocrisy,  the  proof  M.  Guizot  offers  of  his 
rejecting,  and  even  ridiculing,  the  report  set  about  by  the 
fanatical  officers  after  the  dissolution  of  the  Parliament, 
to  the  effect  that  he  had  undergone  special  and  superna- 
tural revelations.  "  The  reports  spread  about  the  Lord 
"  General,"  writes  M.  de  Bordeaux  to  M.  deBrienne,  are 
"  not  true.   He  does  not  affect  any  special  communication 


34  TOLERATION    FOR   ALL    RELIGIONS.  [OHver 

*'  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  he  is  not  so  weak  as  to  he 
*'  caught  hy  flattery.  I  know  that  the  Portuguese  am- 
"  hassador  having  complimented  him  on  this  change, 
"  he  made  a  jest  of  it."  But  the  French  ambassador 
does  not  omit  to  accompany  his  statement  with  a  careful 
tribute  to  the  Lord  GeneraFs  zeal  and  great  piety.  Nor 
do  we  think  M.  Guizot  justified  in  the  belief  he  appears ' 
to  entertain,  that  CromwelFs  toleration  of  differences  in 
religion  proceeded  from  the  merely  politic  spirit,  and  was 
due  only  to  his  wisdom  as  a  ruler  of  men.  To  his  pro- 
found knowledge  of  the  art  of  government  may  indeed  be 
referred  such  projects  as  were  started  in  the  Protectorate, 
— for  a  Synod  to  bring  the  different  sects  into  peaceful 
agreement,  for  ensuring  a  complete  legal  toleration  to  the 
Jews,  and  for  receiving  in  England  even  a  bishop  of  the 
Church  of  Pome  to  preside  over  the  religious  communion 
of  the  Catholics.  But,  from  the  depth  of  true  piety  in 
his  own  soul,  must  have  proceeded  that  larger  personal 
charity,  which  was  so  ready,  with  listening  ear  and  help- 
ing hand,  for  any  form  of  honest  belief  that  claimed  from 
him  sympathy  and  protection.  Let  any  one  read  his 
noble  correspondence  with  the  governor  of  Edinburgh 
Castle,  when,  having  defeated  the  army  of  the  Covenant 
in  battle,  he  proceeded  in  argument  to  overthrow  its 
preachers, — and  entertain  any  further  doubt  of  this  if  he 
can.  Those  are  the  incomparable  letters  in  which  he 
reasoned  out  a  perfect  scheme  of  sublime  toleration ;  in 
which  he  vindicated  the  execution  of  Charles  Stuart  as 
an  act  which  Christians  in  after  times  would  mention 
with  honour,  "  and  all  tyrants  in  the  world  look  at  with 
'^  fear ; "  in  which  he  warned  the  Presbytery  that  their 
platform  was  too  narrow  for  them  to  expect  "  the  great 
*'  God  to  come  down  "  to  such  minds  and  thoughts  ;  in 
which  he  told  them  that  he  had  not  himself  so  learned 
Christ  as  to  look  at  ministers  as  the  lords  over,  instead 
of  helpers  of,  God's  people;  and  in  which  he  desired 
them  specially  to  point  out  to  him  the  warrant  they  had 
in  Scripture  for  believing  that  to  preach  was  their  function 
exclusively.  "  Your  pretended  fear  lest  error  should 
"  step  in,  is  like  the  man  who  would  keep  all  the  wine 
"  out  of  the  country  lest  men  should  be  drunk.  It  will 
"  be  found  an  unjust  and  unwise  jealousy  to  deprive  a 


Cromwell. ~\  scene  in  ely  cathedral.  85 

"  man  of  Ms  natural  liberty  upon  a  supposition  lie  may 
*'  abuse  it.  When  be  doth  abuse  it,  judge."  And  tben, 
within  some  six  months  or  so,  Edinburgh  having  mean- 
while surrendered,  and  the  Presbytery,  recovered  from 
its  sulks,  having  accepted  permission  fr'om  him  again  to 
open  its  pulpits,  you  see  this  same  Cromwell  respectfully 
.  attending  their  services  and  sermons,  and  taking  no  other 
notice  of  the  latter  being  specially  directed  against  him- 
self and  his  fellow  "sectaries,''  than  to  desire  friendly 
discourse  with  the  ministers  who  had  so  railed  against 
them,  to  the  end  that,  if  possible,  misunderstandings 
might  be  taken  away. 

Neither  had  Cromwell,  before  he  evinced  this  spirit, 
waited  until  authority  fell  to  him  as  Lord  General,  at 
which  time,  in  M.  Guizot's  view,  considerations  altogether 
politic  and  worldly  began  largely  to  operate  with  him. 
There  is  a  very  remarkable  letter  decisive  as  to  this, 
which  the  Gentleman^ s  Magazine  first  published  three- 
quarters  of  a  century  ago,  but  which  Mr.  Carlyle  has  been 
able  both  to  confirm  as  authentic  and  to  adjust  to  the 
right  place  in  his  Hfe, — the  year  after  the  battle  of  Naseby. 
Not  long  before  the  date  of  it,  he  had  entered  Ely  cathe- 
dral while  the  Reverend  Mr.  Hitch  was  "  performing  " 
the  choir  service  ;  and,  with  a  "  leave  off  your  fooling ,  and 
"  come  dotcn,  sir/'  had  turned  the  reverend  gentleman 
sheer  out  of  the  place,  intoning,  singing,  and  all.  But 
this  was  because  Sir.  Hitch  had  become  a  nuisance  to  a 
godly  neighbourhood,  and  had  treated  with  dehberate 
disregard  a  previous  warning  of  OHver's  to  the  very 
plain  and  legible  effect,  that,  "  lest  the  soldiers  should  in 
"  any  tumultuous  or  disorderly  way  attempt  the  reform  a- 
"  tion  of  the  cathedral  church,  I  require  you  to  forbear 
"  altogether  your  choir  service,  so  un  edifying  and  offen- 
"  sive ;  and  this,  as  you  shall  answer  it,  if  any  disorder 
"  should  arise  thereupon."  And  notwithstanding  the 
prompt  procedure  by  which  he  kept  his  word  in  this 
case,  he  shows  himself,  in  the  letter  we  have  named  and 
are  now  about  to  quote,  not  less  ready  to  protect  any 
honest  people  differing  completely  from  himself  in  regard 
to  choir  or  other  services,  provided  always  they  so  exer- 
cised their  unedifying  faith  as  not  to  be  offensive  to 
others.     He  intercedes  with  a  Royalist  gentleman,  in  the 

D  2 


36  THOUGHTS  OF  A  HERO.  [OHver 

adjoining  (Norfolk)  county,  for  liberty  of  conscience  to 
certain  of  his  tenants.  "  And,'^  lie  writes,  "however  the 
"  world  interprets  it,  I  am  not  ashamed  to  solicit  for  such 
"  as  are  anywhere  under  pressure  of  this  kind ;  doing 
"  even  as  I  Avould  be  done  by.  Sir,  this  is  a  quarrelsome 
"  age,  and  the  anger  seems  to  me  to  be  the  worse,  where 
"  the  ground  is  difference  of  opinion ;  which  to  cure,  to 
"  hurt  men  in  their  names,  persons,  or  estates,  will  not  be 
"  found  an  apt  remedy.'*  Over  and  over  again  he  insists 
and  enlarges  on  these  views.  The  very  day  after  the 
fight  at  Naseby  he  had  repeated  them,  reminding  the 
Parliament  of  the  honest  men  who  had  served  it  faithfully 
in  that  fight,  and  beseeching  it,  in  the  name  of  God,  not 
to  discourage  them.  "  He  that  ventures  his  life  for  the 
"  liberty  of  his  country,  I  wish  he  trust  God  for  the 
"  liberty  of  his  conscience,  and  you  for  the  liberty  he 
"  fights  for."  He  started  life  with  these  thoughts,  and 
they  remained  with  him  to  its  close.  Over  and  over 
again  he  used  the  noble  language  which  was  nearly  the 
last  he  addressed  to  the  last  parliament  that  assembled 
in  his  name.  He  would  have  freedom  for  the  spirits  and 
souls  of  men,  he  said,  because  the  spirits  of  men  are  the 
men.  The  mind  was  the  man.  If  that  were  kept  pure 
and  free,  the  man  signified  somewhat ;  but  if  not,  he  would 
fain  see  what  difference  there  was  betwixt  a  man  and  a 
beast.  Nay,  he  had  only  some  activity  to  do  some 
more  mischief.  Upon  these  principles  he  would  have 
established,  and  connected  inseparably,  Government  and 
Religion. 
vThe  religion  which  so  teaches  us  our  duty  to  others  is 
not  very  likely  to  fail  us  in  regard  to  ourselves.  Watch 
Cromwell  in  any  great  crisis  of  his  life,  and  judge  whether 
the  faith  he  held  could  have  rested  on  any  doubtful  or 
insecure  foundation.  Take  him  at  the  moment  of  his 
greatest  triumph,  or  in  the  hour  of  his  darkest  peril,  and 
observe  whether  the  one  so  unduly  elates  or  the  other  so 
unworthily  depresses  him,  as  to  cause  him  to  lose  the  sense 
either  of  his  own  weakness  or  of  his  Creator's  power, 
either  of  the  littleness  of  time  or  of  the  greatness  of  eter- 
''li^y.-.,  I^  the  very  majesty  of  his  reception  after  the 
Worcester  battle,  "he  would  seldom  mention  anything 
**  of  himself,"  says  Whitelocke,  describing  their  meeting 


CromwelLj  the  pillar  of  fihe.  87 

at  Aylesbury;  "  mentioned  others  only;  and  gave,  as  was 
"  due,  the  glory  of  tlie  action  unto  God."  In  his  last 
extremity  at  Dunbar,  when  Lesley,  with  an  army  of 
double  his  numbers,  flushed  with  "sdctory,  had  so  hemmed 
him  in  with  his  sick,  star^^ng,  and  dispiiited  troops,  as 
they  retreated  and  were  falling  back  upon  their  ships, 
that,  to  use  his  own  expression,  "  almost  a  miracle  "  was 
needed  to  save  them,  there  is,  in  the  tone  of  the  letter  he 
sent  to  Haselrig  on  the  Newcastle  border,  such  a  quiet 
and  composed  disregard  of  himself,  such  a  care  only  for 
the  safety  of  the  cause,  such  a  calm  and  sustained  reliance 
upon  God,  as  we  doubt  if  the  annals  of  heroism  can  else- 
where parallel.  "Whatever  becomes  of  us,"  he  wrote, 
"  it  will  be  well  for  you  to  get  what  forces  you  can 
"  together;  and  the  South  to  help  what  they  can.  If 
"  your  forces  had  been  in  readiness  to  have  fallen  upon 
"  the  back  of  Copperspath,  it  might  have  occasioned  sup- 
"  plies  to  have  come  to  us.  But  the  only  wise  God  knows 
*'  what  is  best.  All  shall  work  for  good.  Our  spirits 
"  are  comfortable,  praised  be  the  Lord ;  though  our 
"  present  condition  be  as  it  is.  Let  Henry  Vane  know 
"  what  I  write.  I  icould  not  make  it  public,  lest  danger 
"  should  accrue  thereby  J* 

Whatever  else  might  desert  this  man,  hope  and  faith 
never  did.  There  was  o;ie  who  stood  afterwards  by  his 
death- bed,  while  a  worse  storm  shook  the  heavens  than 
even  that  which  had  swept  along  the  heights  of  Dunbar, 
and  who  recalled  these  days  in  testimony  of  the  strong 
man  he  had  been.  "  In  the  dark  perils  of  war,  in  the 
'*  high  places  of  the  field,  hope  shone  in  him  like  a  pillar 
"  of  fire,  when  it  had  gone  out  in  all  the  others."  Nor 
in  the  high  places  only,  but  in  the  solitude  or  service  of 
his  chamber,  he  impressed  in  like  manner  all  who  had 
intercourse  with  him.  It  was  ever  they  who  stood  nearest 
to  him  who  had  reason  to  admire  him  most ;  and  to  the 
eyes  of  his  very  valets  and  chamber-grooms,  the  heroic 
shone  out  of  Cromwell.  It  is  from  one  who  held  such 
office  in  his  household  we  have  a  picture  of  him  handed 
down  to  us  which  Vandyke  or  Velasquez  might  have 
painted.  A  body  well  compact  and  strong  ;  his  stature 
under  six  foot  (*'  I  believe  about  two  inches  ") ;  his  head 
so  shaped  as  you  might  see  it  both  a  storehouse  and  shop, 


38  CONTENTION  WITH  LONG  PARLIAMENT.        [OHveV 

of  a  vast  treasiiry  of  natural  parts ;  his  temper  exceeding 
fiery  ("  as  I  have  known ''),  but  the  flame  of  it  kept 
down  for  the  most  part,  or  soon  allayed  with  those  moral 
endowments  he  had ;  naturally  compassionate  towards 
objects  in  distress,  even  to  an  effeminate  measure,  though 
God  had  made  him  a  heart,  wherein  was  left  little  room 
for  any  fear ;  "  a  larger  soul,  I  thinlx,  hath  seldom  dwelt  in 
"  a  house  of  clay  than  his  was.''  What  Englishman  may 
not  be  proud  of  that  written  portrait  of  Oliver  Cromwell, 
still  fresh  from  the  hand  of  worthy  Mr.  John  Maidstone, 
cofferer  and  gentleman-in- waiting  on  the  Lord  Protector 
of  England  ? 

Of  the  general  estimate  of  him  formed  by  the  French 
historian  little  more  need  be  said.  There  is  much  we 
might  further  make  objection  to ;  but,  compressed  and 
brief  as  our  summary  of  M.  Guizot^s  views  has  been,  it 
will  perhaps  be  understood  with  sufficient  reservation. 
He  does  not  reject  the  stories  of  the  Irish  massacres, 
though  they  are  unwittingly  refuted  even  by  Cromwell's 
most  eager  enemies,  the  Irish  priests,  in  the  Clonmacnoise 
manifesto.  He  retains,  on  authority  very  decidedly  ques- 
tionable, a  great  many  reports  which  would  tend  to 
suggest  ill  thoughts  of  the  Protector.  But  to  the  full 
worldly  extent  of  the  term,  his  Cromwell,  whether  before 
or  after  the  Protectorate,  is  one  of  the  great  men  of  the 
earth.  He  is  under  the  influence  of  ambition,  but  it  is 
an  ambition  generally  qualified,  and  often  exalted,  by  the 
state  necessities  to  which  it  bends.  The  question  that 
so  early  arose  between  him  and  the  Long  Parliament, 
M.  Guizot  calls  the  beginning  of  a  duel,  of  which  he  holds 
that  neither  party  engaged  therein  could  avoid  forcing 
it  on  to  its  close.  Of  one  or  the  other,  it  became  the 
duty  cedere  majori;  and,  as  we  infer  from  his  reasoning, 
it  could  not  but  occur  to  the  Parliament  towards  the  close 
of  the  struggle,  while  claiming  over  Cromwell  a  nominal 
supremacy,  to  feel  the  sting  of  the  last  portion  of  the 
epigram.  Ilia  gravis  palma  est,  qiiam  minor  hostis  hahet. 
But  while  indicating  thus  where  in  his  judgment  the 
pre-eminence  lay,  he  might  have  added  Cromwell's  own 
later  admission  of  the  merits  and  services  of  his  adver- 
saries. "  They  had  done  things  of  honour,"  he  told  hig 
second  House  of  Commons,  "  and  things  of  necessity : 


Cromwell.']  victor  in  the  duel.  39 

"  things  which,  if  at  this  day  you  have  any  judgment 
"  that  there  lieth  a  possibility  upon  you  to  do  any  good,  I 
"  may  say  that  you  are  all  beholden  to  that  Long  Parlia- 
"  ment  for."  At  the  same  time,  let  us  remark,  the  French 
historian's  researches  to  illustrate  this  contention  of 
Cromwell  and  the  republicans  appear  to  establish  very 
clearly  one  point  of  considerable  interest.  He  shows 
decisively  that  Cromwell,  before  the  republic  fell  by 
his  hand,  was  indisputably  the  first  man,  and  acknow- 
ledged to  be  the  first  man,  in  it ;  not  simply  in  right 
of  his  victories,  but  by  the  administrative  genius  he 
had  displayed,  and  by  the  light  in  which  the  foreign 
courts  already  regarded  him.  He  fails  himself,  how- 
ever, to  attach  sufiicient  importance  to  this ;  and  perhaps 
generally  he  somewhat  underrates  the  influence  and  con- 
nection of  foreign  policy  with  the  domestic  administration 
of  England  at  the  period. 

But  the  mistake,  if  it  be  one,  does  not  stint  the  details 
of  foreign  policy  which  M.  Guizot  gives.  These  open  to 
us  the  manuscript  treasures  of  the  Hague,  and  the  un- 
published archives  of  the  French  foreign  office,  as  well  as 
of  Simancas  in  Spain,  and  pour  upon  this  part  of  his 
great  subject  a  flood  of  steady  and  original  light.  His 
volumes  thus  include  details  of  various  confidential  mis- 
sions, and  much  other  matter  of  the  highest  interest,  of 
which  the  most  essential  portions  are  given  complete. 
That  we  should  always  admit  their  evidence,  in  exactly 
the  light  in  which  M.  Guizot  seems  disposed  to  accept  it, 
we  of  course  do  not  find  to  be  necessary.  Although  both 
M.  CrouUe  for  France,  and  Don  Alonzo  de  Cardenas 
for  Spain,  express  and  act  upon  opinions  of  Cromwell 
which  agree  generally  with  the  judgment  formed  of  his 
character  in  M.  Guizot's  book,  it  may  yet  be  said  with 
perfect  fairness,  that  neither  a  gentleman  from  the  court 
of  Philip  lY,  nor  a  gentleman  representing  a  statesman 
of  the  stamp  of  Mazarin,  were  very  likely  to  understand 
an  exalted  zeal  like  Cromwell's,  taking  it  always  for  what 
it  claimed  to  be.  Putting  aside  some  few  acts  of  policy, 
however,  perhaps  justified  by  the  distinction,  which  is 
only  too  freely  permitted,  between  private  and  political 
morality,  there  is  nothing  in  these  new  discoveries  of 
which  any  defender  of  Cromwell  has  need  to  be  ashamed, 


40  FRENCH   PARTIES   AND   INTRIGUES.  [OHver 

and  there  is  a  vast  deal  to  confirm  very  strikingly  tlie 
sense  of  his  greatness. 

"We  give  a  few  examples  not  in  the  histories.  Before 
the  time  of  the  Protectorate,  by  the  chief  statesmen  of 
both  parties  in  the  war  of  the  Fronde  then  raging  in 
France,  the  upward  course  of  the  great  leader  of  the 
popular  party  in  England  had  been  watched  with  anxiety 
and  dread.  Both  feared  and  hated  him ;  yet  such  was 
their  position  in  regard  to  Spain,  and  each  other,  that  his 
friendly  countenance  to  either  was  become  of  inexpres- 
sible value.  He  had  hardly  arrived  in  London,  after  the 
battle  of  Worcester,  when,  in  answer  to  overtures  from 
De  Retz  at  the  instant  of  the  brief  triumph  Avhich  pre- 
ceded that  statesman's  fall,  he  sent  Henry  Yane  with  a 
letter  to  him  (a  striking  proof  that  up  to  this  time,  that 
"  great  parliamentarian  and  intimate  confidant  of  his," 
as  the  Cardinal  describes  him,  could  have  had  no  suspi- 
cion of  any  blow  meditated  against  the  Parliament) ;  and 
this  also  is  the  date  when  Mazarin,  afi'ecting  to  put  a 
friendly  construction  upon  rumours  that  had  reached  him 
of  a  proposed  expedition  of  Cromweirs  into  France, 
eagerly  suggests  to  M.  Croulle,  through  M.  Servien,  that 
if  at  the  close  of  his  Scottish  campaign  "  Mr.  Cromwell 
"  should  come  into  France,  being  as  he  is  a  pei'son  of 
"  merit,  he  will  be  well  received  here,  for  assuredly  every 
"  one  will  go  to  meet  him  at  the  place  where  he  disem- 
"  barks."  Of  course  M.  Croulle  promptly  disabuses  his 
master  of  any  notion  of  expecting  that  kind  of  neighbourly 
visit ;  but,  in  also  contradicting  the  report  that  any  hostile 
intentions  were  entertained  to  France,  he  is  careful  to 
reproduce  for  the  Cardinal  the  haughty  terms  in  which 
Cromwell  himself  was  said  to  have  denied  it.  "  Looking 
"  at  his  hair,  which  is  already  white.  General  Cromwell 
"  said  that  if  he  were  ten  years  younger  there  was  not  a 
"  king  in  Europe  whom  he  could  not  make  to  tremble  ; 
"  and  that,  as  he  had  a  better  motive  than  the  late  king 
"  of  Sweden,  he  believed  himself  still  capable  of  doing 
"  more  for  the  good  of  nations  than  the  other  ever  did 
"  for  his  own  ambition." 

Nevertheless,  it  was  while  overtures  were  on  all  sides 
secretly  going  on,  and  still  during  De  Retz's  brief  predo- 
minance, that  the  double-faced  Mazarin  thus  wrote  from 


Cromwell. "l  cardinal  and  coadjutor  outwitted.    41 

his  place  of  exile  at  BruU  to  discredit  De  Eetz  with  the 
queen.  It  was  probably  written  at  the  very  moment 
when  the  Coadjutor  himself  was  attempting  to  justify  his 
intercourse  with  Yane,  on  the  express  ground  of  what  he 
calls  Mazarin's  ''base  and  continual  flattery"  of  Cromwell. 
"  The  Coadjutor  has  always  spoken  with  veneration  of 
*'  Cromwell,  as  of  a  man  sent  by  God  into  England, 
"  saying  that  he  would  raise  such  men  also  in  other 
"  kingdoms ;  and  once  in  good  company,  where  there  was 
"  Menage  present,  hearing  the  courage  of  M.  de  Beaufort 
"  extolled,  he  said  in  express  terms,  if  31.  de  Beaufort  is 
"  Fairfax,  I  am  Cromwell.''  A  portion  of  M.  Guizot's 
comment  (which  we  need  hardly  say  we  have  translated 
for  ourselves)  may  be  subjoined.  "  Mazarin  excelled  in 
"  poisoning,  for  the  ruin  of  his  enemies,  their  actions  or 
*'  their  words,  and  at  the  same  time  in  taking  to  himself 
"  impudently  their  examples  and  their  weapons.  While 
"  he  thus  showed  to  the  queen's  eyes,  as  a  crime  in  the 
"  Coadjutor,  his  opinion  of  Cromwell,  he  laboured  him- 
"  self  to  enter  with  Cromwell  into  close  relations.  Too 
"  shrewd  not  to  recognise  that  in  that  direction,  in  Eng- 
*'  land,  lay  the  capacity  and  power,'  it  was  to  the  future 
*'  master  of  the  republic,  no  longer  to  the  republican 
"  parliament,  that  he  made  his  advances."  To  this,  it  is 
needless  to  add,  Cromwell  lent  himself  willingly ;  he  was 
too  incessantly  bent  on  making  to  himself  powerful  friends 
everywhere ;  and  soon  Mazarin  was  within  the  toils  of  a 
subtler  brain  and  stronger  hand.  "  Mr.  Cromwell  adroitly 
''leaves  to  others  the  conduct  and  care  of  whatever 
"  begets  outcry,"  wrote,  in  1650,  CrouUe  to  M.  Servien, 
"  and  reserves  to  himself  affairs  that  confer  obligation  ; 
"  concerning  which  at  least  he  sets  rumours  afloat,  in 
"  such  manner  that  if  they  succeed  they  may  be  attri- 
"  buted  to  him,  and  if  not  that  one  may  see  he  willed 
"  them  well,  and  that  the  result  came  of  hindrance  from 
"  others." ' 

^  ^'  Trop  sagace  pour  ne  pas  re-  "  and  ability  then  existing  in  Eng- 

' '  connaitre  que  la  etaient,  en  Angle-  ' '  land. " 

"  iei're,    Vhabilete  et   le  pouvoir."  2  ^  letter  to  Mazarin  from  the 

According  to  the  translator,  "Too  Count  d'Estrador  is  added,  in  which, 

"  sagacious  not  to  perceive  that  in  though  the  date  is  the  5th  of  Febru- 

"  him  were  centred  all  the  power  ary,   1652,  the  title  of  Protector  is 


43  EIYALRIES   OF   FRANCE   AND   SPAIN.  \OUver 

We  cannot  give  all  the  details  of  the  overtures  that 
thus  began,  curious  and  impressive  as  they  are,  but 
through  none  of  them,  the  reader  at  once  perceives,  was 
Mazarin  a  match  for  Cromwell.  The  great  soldier  and 
statesman,  though  with  his  own  predilections  hampered 
by  the  prejudices  of  his  country,  and  standing  between 
the  intrigues  of  the  rival  Courts  of  France  and  Spain, 
yet  knew  how  to  play  his  game  with  perfect  safety, 
and  to  obtain  substantially  all  that  he  desired.  All 
through  the  negotiations  that  ensued,  however,  two 
things  are  very  obvious  in  his  far-sighted  policy.  He  had 
not  simply  to  adjust  the  balance  in  Europe,  at  that  time 
overweighted  by  France  ;  but  he  had  to  look  to  the  safety 
and  stability  of  his  own  recently  settled  government,  more 
in  danger  from  so  near  a  neighbour  as  France,  than  from 
one  so  distant  as  Spain.  Here  will  be  found  the  real 
clue  to  his  wonderful  management  of  these  two  powers ; 
and  to  the  measures  by  which  he  had  been  able  to  estab- 
lish so  potent  and  singular  an  influence  in  the  heart,  and 
over  both  the  parties,  of  the  neighbour  kingdom.  Up  to 
the  time  of  the  expulsion  of  the  Long  Parliament,  no 
alliance  had  been  absolutely  concluded  with  either  France 
or  Spain ;  though,  at  the  moment  of  its  expulsion,  M. 
Bordeaux  was  under  the  impression  that  a  treaty  with  it, 
on  the  part  of  the  statesman  he  represented,  was  on  the 
point  of  being  happily  concluded.  But  already  Mazarin 
had  been  obliged,  even  without  deriving  any  immediate 
advantage  from  the  step,  formally  to  recognise  the 
Republic  and  its  leaders  ;  and  with  hot  haste,  as  soon  as 
the  Long  Parliament  was  dissolved,  the  Cardinal  of  course 
easily  betook  himself  to  the  power  that  remained  trium- 
phant. "  Mazarin,"  writes  M.  Guizot,  "  always  pro- 
"  digal  of  flattering  advances,  wrote  to  Cromwell  to  offer 
"  him,  and  ask  from  him,  a  serviceable  friendship.  Crom- 
"  well  replied  to  him  ^dth  a  rare  excess  of  affected  hu- 

given  to  Cromwell.    Of  course  tliere-  note,  or  explain  the  confusion  it  was 

fore  M.  Guizot  is  careful  to  remark,  intended  to  remedy  ;  and  in  subse- 

ina  note,  that  as  the  letter  and  its  quently  giving  the  note  of  June '53, 

date  are  beyond  question,  the  title  quoted   in  the  text,   he  appends  to 

of  Protector  must  have  been  inter-  its  signature  the  title  (P.)  which  its 

calated  some  years  afterwards  ;  but  very  contents  should  have  shown  him 

his   translator   does  not   think    it  did  not  then  belong  to  the  writer, 
worth  while  either  to  translate  this 


Cromwell. "^       mazarin  no  match  for  Oliver.         43 

"  mility.'*  And  then  follows  a  little  note,  concerning 
wMcli  Mr.  Carlyle,  believing  it  to  exist  only  in  the  form 
of  a  French  translation  made  by  Mazarin,  remarked,  that 
"  it  would  not  be  wholly  without  significance  if  we  had 
*'  it  in  the  original."     Here  it  is  in  the  original : 

"  Westminster^  9th  of  June,  1653. 

"It  is  surprise  to  me  that  your  Eminency  should  take  notice  of  a 
person  so  inconsiderable  as  myself,  living  (as  it  were)  separate  from 
the  world.  This  honour  has  done  (as  it  ought)  a  very  deep  impression 
upon  me,  and  does  oblige  me  to  serve  your  Eminency  upon  aU  occa- 
sions, so  as  I  shall  be  happy  to  hnd  out.  So  I  trust  that  very  honour- 
able person  Monsieur  Burdoe  [Bordeaux]  will  therein  be  helpful  to 
"Your  Eminencie's 

* '  Thrice  humble  Servant, 

"0.  Cromwell." 

The  historian  calls  this  a  rare  excess  of  affected  hu- 
mility ;  but,  after  all,  what  is  there  more  in  the  counter- 
feit humility,  than  such  a  reply  to  a  compliment  as 
every  gentleman  in  England  makes  every  week  in  some 
form  to  somebody.  "  You  do  me  too  much  honour. 
"  There  is  nothing  that  I  would  not  do  to  serve  you,  Sir. 
"  Good  morning." 

In  truth,  there  is  never  any  affected  humility,  but 
rather  a  contempt  very  thinly  covered,  if  not  openly 
avowed,  from  Cromwell  to  Mazarin ;  nor  does  this  find 
anywhere  more  characteristic  expression  than  in  the 
evidence  the  historian  incidentally  gives  us  of  the  sort  of 
gifts  they  interchanged.  While  Mazarin  sent  over  regal 
presents  of  tapestry,  wine,  and  Barbary  horses,  Cromwell, 
familiarly  and  half  contemptuously  confident  that  he  had 
to  do  with  a  man  more  avaricious  than  vain,  would  return 
such  compliments  by  forwarding  so  many  cases  of  pure 
Cornwall  tin.  As  to  their  public  intercourse  throughout, 
one  sees  that  it  was  but  a  constant  interchange  of  conces- 
sions and  resistances,  services  and  refusals,  in  which  they 
ran  little  risk  of  quarrelling,  for  the  simple  reason  that 
they  understood  each  other,  and  did  not  require,  on  either 
hand,  anything  that  could  not  be  denied  without  doing 
greater  injury  than  the  grant  would  do  service ;  but  it 
was  after  all  a  kind  of  equality  in  which  the  personal 
predominance  remained  with  Cromwell.  It  is  he  whom 
it  is  manifestly  impossible,  throughout,  either  to  intimidate 


44  FOREIGN   POLICY   OF   PROTECTOUATE.  [OUver 

or  deceive  ;  and  tliougli  it  was  no  small  art  on  Mazarin's 
side,  as  soon  as  lie  saw  this,  to  affect  to  meet  his  adver- 
sary with  the  same  simple  frankness,  there  cannot  be  a 
question  which  plays  the  greater  figure,  he  who  possessed 
the  art,  or  he  who  always  reduced  its  possessor  to  the 
necessity  of  practising  it. 

M.  Guizot  justly  describes  the  foreign  policy  of  Crom- 
well as  based  on  two  fixed  ideas, — peace  with  the  United 
Provinces  and  the  alliance  of  the  Protestant  States.  These 
were,  in  his  eyes,  the  two  vital  conditions  of  the  security 
and  greatness  of  his  country  in  Europe,  of  his  own 
security  and  his  own  greatness  in  Europe  and  in  his 
country.  With  the  United  Provinces,  peace  was  at  once 
made ;  Whitelocke  was  sent  upon  his  embassy  to  Sweden ; 
a  special  treaty  of  commerce  was  negotiated  with  the 
King  of  Denmark;  and  Cromwell  found  himself  on  terms 
of  friendship  with  all  Protestant  States  of  Europe.  In 
France  it  was  said  that  he  even  meditated,  in  the  interests 
of  Protestantism,  a  more  vast  and  difficult  design. 
"  The  Protector  proposes  to  himself,"  wrote  one  of 
Mazarin's  confidential  agents  to  his  master  the  Cardinal, 
"  to  cause  the  assembly  of  a  council  of  all  the  Protestant 
"  communions,  to  re-unite  them  in  one  body  for  the 
"  common  confession  of  one  and  the  same  faith."  Some 
particular  facts  indicate  that  Cromwell  was,  indeed,  pre- 
occupied with  this  idea.  It  was  one  of  many  such  he 
would  fain  have  realised,  and  he  reluctantly  laid  aside. 
Well  does  M.  Guizot  describe  him  as  one  of  those  persons 
of  powerful  and  fertile  genius  in  whom  great  designs  and 
great  temptations  are  born  by  crowds :  but  who  applied 
promptly  his  firm  good  sense  to  his  grandest  dreams,  and 
never  pursued  farther  those  which  did  not  stand  that 
trial.  "  He  assumed  towards  the  Catholic  powers,"  the 
French  historian  finely  and  characteristically  continues, 
"  an  attitude  of  complete  and  frigid  independence,  without 
"  prejudice  or  ill-will,  but  without  forwardness,  showing 
"  himself  disposed  to  peace,  but  always  leaving  to  be  seen  a 
"  glimpse  of  war,  and  carrying  a  rough  pride  into  the  care  of 
"  the  interests  of  his  country  or  of  his  own  greatness." 

'  We  cannot  resist  giving  M.  translator.  "II  prit  envers  les 
Guizot's  text  in  this  latter  paragraph  "puissances  Catholiques  uue  atti- 
ia  conuexion  with  the  version  of  his       "  tude  complete  et  froide  liberie,— 


Cromwell. 1^      bidding  high  for  an  alliance.         45 

One  example  of  that  rougli  pride  and  immovable  resolve 
rises  promptly  to  tlie  mind.  The  King  of  Portugal  was 
stigmatised  at  Madrid  as  an  usurper,  but  Cromwell,  who 
had  received  his  ambassador,  consented  to  sign  a  treaty 
with  him;  and  on  the  very  day  when  the  treaty  was 
signed,  the  ambassador's  brother,  Don  Pantaloon  de  Sa, 
who,  under  the  plea  of  supposed  immunity  to  members 
of  a  foreign  embassy,  had  committed  a  fatal  outrage  on 
an  English  citizen,  perished  on  a  public  scaffold  at  Tower 
Hill.  No  man  had  believed  that  this  would  be,  and  the 
fate  of  that  Portuguese  noble  sent  a  thrill  through  Europe. 
Shall  we  wonder  that  France  and  Spain  outdid  each  other 
in  obsequious  homage  before  such  indomitable  and  intract- 
able energy?  We  see,  in  the  French  histonan's  page, 
each  bidding  higher  and  higher  against  the  other  for  his 
active  friendship,  and  Cardenas  at  last  eagerly  offering 
him  a  subvention  of  not  less  than  six  hundred  thousand 
dollars  a  year,  "  without  having  in  London  or  in  Flanders," 
wrote  Mazarin  to  Bordeaux,  *'  the  first  sou  to  give  him,  if 
"  he  took  them  at  their  word.  He  would  promise  with  the 
"  same  faciHty  a  million,  indeed  two,  to  get  a  pledge  from 
"  him,  since  assuredly  it  would  not  cost  them  more  to 
"  hold  and  execute  one  promise  than  the  other."  Mazarin, 
a  better  diplomatist,  enriched  his  promises  with  a  flowing 
courtesy;  sent  with  them  his  wine,  his  tapestry,  and  his 
Barbary  horses ;  and  conceded,  on  the  part  of  the  young 
king,  a  rank  only  less  than  royal.  Even  the  Prince  of 
Conde  hastened  to  make  himself  acceptable  to  the  rough 
English  soldier,  and  declared  his  belief  that  the  people  of 
the  three  kingdoms  must  be  surely  at  the  summit  of  their 
happiness  in  seeing  their  goods  and  lives  confided  to  so 
great  a  man. 

"  sans  prejugd  ni  raauvais  vouloir,  "  powers  he  assumed  an  attitude  of 

"  mais  sans  empressement,  se  men-  "  complete  and  fearless  liberty,  un- 

"  trant  dispose  a  la  paix,  mais  lais-  *'  marked  by  prejudice  or  ill-will, 

"  sant  toujours  entrevoir  la  guerre,  "  but  equally  void  of  courtship  or 

"  et  portant  une  fierte  rude  dans  le  "  flattery,  showing  himself  disposed 

"  soin  des  interets  de  son  pays  ou  "to   maintain  peace,    but   always 

"  de   sa  propre  grandeur."     That  "  leaving  open  the  prospect  of  war, 

is   an  admirable  specimen  of    JM.  '*  and  watching  over  the  interests 

Guizot's  style  and  manner  in  this  "  of  his   country  and  of  his  own 

book.    We  could  hardly  instance  a  "  family  with  stern  and  uncompro- 

better.     But  now  observe  the  fol-  ''  mising  haughtiness." 
lowing  :    ' '  Towards    the    Catholic 


46  WAR   DETERMINED   AGAINST   SPAIN.  \_Oliver 

Cromwell  received  all  these  advances,  according  to  M. 
Guizot,  with  the  same  show  of  good  will.  But  it  was  not 
that  he  saw  them  all  with  equal  eye,  or  that  he  drifted 
indifferent  or  uncertain  among  allies  so  opposite.  "  Unlike 
"  the  Long  Parliament,  he  inclined  much  more  towards 
*'  France  than  towards  Spain  ;  with  a  superior  sagacity 
"  he  had  perceived  that  Spain  w^as  thenceforward  an 
*'  apathetic  power,  ahle  to  effect  hut  little,  and,  in  spite 
*'  of  its  favourable  demonstrations,  more  hostile  than  any 
"  other  to  Protestant  England,  for  it  was  more  exclu- 
"  sively  than  any  other  given  up  to  the  maxims  and 
*'  influences  of  the  Roman  Church.  And  at  the  same 
"  time  that  there  was  little  to  expect  from  Spain, 
*'  she  offered  to  the  maritime  ambition  of  England,  by 
*'  her  vast  possessions  in  the  new  world,  rich  and  easy 
"  prey." 

There  soon  followed,  accordingly,  the  well-known 
swoop  upon  the  King  of  Spain's  West  India  possessions. 
The  better  half  of  the  design  failed,  indeed,  when  the 
attack  upon  St.  Domingo  failed;  but  the  seizure  of 
Jamaica  was  an  unquestionable  prize,  which  Cromwell's 
wisdom  turned  at  once  to  a  noble  account.  All  these 
incidents,  and  their  consequences,  show  ever  characteris- 
tically the  personal  predominance  of  the  Protector.  Up 
to  within  a  few  days  of  the  declaration  of  war  against 
Spain,  hope  had  continued  with  Cardenas.  To  even  the 
hour  of  the  treaty  of  alliance  with  France,  fear  had  not 
quitted  Mazarin.  And,  in  the  actual  dispatches  written 
while  the  events  were  in  progress,  lives  still  their  most 
graphic  history.  M.  Guizot  sees  this,  and  the  foreign 
policy  of  the  Protectorate  is  thus  with  a  rare  freshness 
reproduced  by  him.  We  compare  the  mighty  tread 
of  Cromwell  with  the  pirouettes  of  the  statesmen  opposed 
to  him,  and  get  no  mean  perception  of  the  true  hero  of 
the  day. 

Of  the  conditions  of  the  treaty  at  last  concluded  with 
France,  we  need  not  speak ;  but  the  jealous  rigour  with 
which  Cromwell  insisted  on  the  substitution  of  Eex  Gal- 
lorum,  for  Rex  GaUicBy  is  a  pregnant  indication  of  the 
attitude  then  assumed  by  him  to  the  most  powerful  of 
foreign  States.  Never,  certainly,  had  our  English  name 
been  carried  so  high.     "  He  is  the  greatest  and  happiest 


Cromwell.'^  homage  of  foreign  sovereigns.  47 

*'  prince  in  Europe,"  exclaimed  young  Louis  Quatorze. 
Bound  in  fast  treaties  with  all  the  Protestant  States, 
allied  to  the  most  potent  of  Catholic  Sovereigns,  Monte- 
cuculi  deprecating  his  wrath  on  one  side  as  agent  for 
the  house  of  Austria,  and  on  the  other  the  Marquis  of 
Leyden  on  behalf  of  the  King  of  Spain,  he  received, 
besides  the  foreign  ministers  who  habitually  resided 
at  his  court,  ambassadors  extraordinary  from  Sweden, 
Poland,  Germany,  and  Italy,  who  came  solemnly  to 
present  to  him  the  overtures  or  homage  of  their  masters. 
To  the  very  last  he  received  this  homage.  While  he  lay 
himself  in  the  sickness  from  which  he  never  recovered, 
the  young  French  King  was  talking  bare-headed  to 
his  son-in-law.  Lord  Fauconberg ;  and  the  great  French 
Cardinal  was  treating  him  with  a  ceremony  which,  even 
to  the  King  himself,'  he  ordinarily  dispensed  with. 
Pictures  and  medals,  some  nobly  commemorative  of  his 
exploits,  others  coarsely  satirical  of  his  adversaries, 
were  displayed  in  almost  every  town  of  the  continent; 
celebrating  his  illustrious  deeds,  and  humbling  before 
them  the  old  princes  and  kings.  Well  might  one  of  the 
most  considerable  of  the  foreign  agents  write  over  to 
Thurloe,  from  Brussels,  that  "  the  Lord  Protector's 
"  government  makes  England  more  formidable  and  con- 
"  siderable  to  all  nations  than  it  has  ever  been  in  my 
"  day." 

Not  the  less  comes  in  the  inevitable,  the  melancholy 
close.  "While  the  Lord  Protector's  government  was  thus 
formidable  and  considerable  abroad,  it  was  beset  with 

I  I  quote  from  a  letter  of  Lord  "  after  an  hour's  discourse  in  pri- 

Fauconberg's,  written  in  June,  1658,  "  vate,  he  conducted  me  downe  to 

to  inform  Henry  Cromwell  that  he  "the  very  door,  where  my   coach 

had  had    "the  honorablest  recep-  "stood,   a   ceremony  he   dispenses 

"  tion  imaginable"  at  the  French  "with  not  only  to  all  others,  but 

Court.      "The  King  did   not   only  "  even  to  the  King  himself.     The 

* '  keepe  bare  at   my  publique  au-  ' '  charge    of    two   very    handsome 

"  diences,  but,  when  I  made  him  a  "  tables  were  defrayed  (for  myself 

"  private  visit,   he  talked  with  me  "and  followers)  by  the  King,   all 

"  in  the  garden  an  hour  or  two  uu-  "  the  while  I  stayed.     In  siimrae, 

"  covered.     From  the  Cardinal,  the  "  through  all  their  actions,  not  the 

"  honors    I    had  were    particular  "  least  circumstance  was   omitted, 

"  and  unusual  :  he  waved  the  state  "  that  might  witness  the  truth  of 

"  of  a  publique  audience,  came  out  "those    respects    they    beai-e    his 

"of  his  own  room  to  meet  me,  led  "  Highnesse  and  the   English  na- 

"  me  presently  into  his  cabinet ;  "  tion." 


48        FAILURE    OF    PROTECTORATE    PARLIAMENTS.    [OUver 

difficulties  at  home,  wHch  drove  him  finally  to  expe- 
dients that  are  alleged  to  have  thrown  discredit  on  his 
rule,  and  to  have  obscured  the  glory  of  his  name.  It 
would  take  us  too  far  from  our  present  purpose  to  discuss 
this  matter  with  M.  Guizot,  with  whom,  respecting  it, 
we  have  some  important  differences  ;  but  we  will  en- 
deavour briefly  but  clearly  to  present  the  result  of  the 
investigation  and  reasoning  which  he  appears  to  have 
been  at  great  pains  to  bestow  upon  it. 

Of  Cromwell's  first  effort,  after  the  dissolution  of  the 
Long  Parliament,  to  govern  with  the  help  of  the  men 
who  had  been  parties  to  that  act  of  violence,  the  result, 
according  to  M.  Guizot's  view,  was  to  show  him  that 
reforming  sectaries  and  innovators,  though  useful  instru- 
ments of  destruction,  are  destructive  to  the  very  power 
they  establish ;  and  that  the  classes  among  whom  con- 
servative interests  prevail  are  the  only  natural  and 
permanent  allies  of  authority.  Yet  he  had  no  choice  but 
to  try  again,  and  again  to  renew,  his  efforts  in  the  same 
direction,  with  what  help  his  experience  could  give  ;  for  the 
French  historian  has  satisfied  himself  that  his  honest 
desire  was  so  far  to  place  himself,  by  any  possible  means, 
in  subordination  to  English  law,  as  to  obtain  co-operation 
from  a  fairly  chosen  Parliament  in  establishing  a  dynasty 
of  Cromwell  kings,  and  restoring  the  ancient  form  of 
Lords  and  Commons  with  that  revival  of  the  monarchy. 
But  his  attempts  were  all  unavailing.  He  could  not 
restore  what  he  had  so  helped  to  destroy.  Amid  the 
ruins  which  his  hands  had  made,  he  was  doomed  to  see 
the  vanity  of  those  rash  hopes,  and  to  learn  that  no 
Government  is,  or  can  be,  the  work  of  man's  will  alone. 
In  the  endeavour  to  obtain  such  a  Parliament  as  the  old 
usages  of  England  sanctioned,  he  raised  up  more  than 
one  semi-constitutional  assembly ;  but  merely  to  destroy 
it  when  it  disappointed  him,  and  with  it,  as  he  well 
knew,  his  only  safe  means  of  taxing  the  people  he  would 
govern.  The  money  needful  for  State  purposes  thus 
failing  him,  he  was  at  last  driven  to  the  expedient  pro- 
nounced by  M.  Guizot  to  be  the  political  act  which  caused 
his  ruin:  the  estabhshment  of  Major- Generals  to  levy  tithes 
on  the  revenues  of  the  royalists.  By  this  unjustifiable 
act,  he  is  declared  to  have  detached  his  glory  from  the 


Cromwell.']  failure  of  protectorate  itself.  49 

cause  of  order  and  peace,  in  tlie  name  of  wMcli  lie  had 
begun  to  found  his  throne,  and  to  have  plunged  his 
power  down  into  the  depths  of  revolutionary  violence. 
"  He  invoked,"  says  the  constitutional  historian,  *'  neces- 
*'  sity ;  and  without  doubt  thought  himself  reduced  to 
"  that :  if  he  was  right,  it  was  one  of  those  necessities 
"  inflicted  by  God's  justice,  which  reveal  the  innate  vice 
"  of  a  Government,  and  become  the  sentence  of  its  con- 
"  demnation." 

From  this  time  to  the  end,  the  French  historian  believes 
CromweU  to  have  been  thoroughly  conscious  of  the  weak- 
ness with  which  he  was  smitten  by  his  own  deed,  and 
that  it  was  now,  upon  feeKng  in  all  directions  for  support, 
he  at  last  perceived  his  surest  prop  to  be  the  advocacy  of 
liberty  of  conscience.  (Need  we  interpose  to  repeat,  what 
already  we  have  distinctly  shown,  that  never  had  this 
sacred  cause,  at  any  period  of  his  life^  been  without  his 
advocacy?)  Of  the  formal  discussion  which  he  afterwards 
raised  with  his  friendly  Parliament  on  the  question  of 
his  assuming  royal  state,  the  historian  speaks  as  of  a 
comedy  performed  for  the  instruction  of  the  nation.  It 
was  designed  to  make  men  familiar  with  the  topic,  and 
to  scatter  abroad  a  variety  of  arguments  in  its  favour ; 
but  the  interference  of  the  army  brought  the  comedy  to 
an  unwelcome  end.  Cromwell  resigned  the  name  of 
king ;  and  with  it,  the  historian  appears  to  think,  any 
power  of  retaining  much  longer  the  kingly  authority. 
He  had  arrived  at  the  slippery  height  on  which  to  stand 
still  was  impossible,  and  there  was  no  alternative  but  to 
mount  higher  or  to  fall.  Even  his  great  heart  failed 
him.  He  now  saw,  that,  die  when  he  might,  he  must 
be  content  to  leave  behind  him  for  his  successors,  the 
two  enemies  he  had  most  ardently  combatted — Anarchy, 
and  the  Stuarts ;  and  M.  Guizot's  comments  leave  it 
to  be  inferred  as  his  opinion,  that  had  he  long  sur- 
vived the  discomfiture  which  embittered  his  last  months, 
even  his  political  position  might  have  been  seriously 
endangered.  He  died,  however,  in  the  fullness  of  his 
power,  though  sorroicful.  "  Sorrowful  not  only  because 
"  he  must  die,  but  also,  and  above  all,  because  he 
"  must  die  without  having  attained  his  true  and  final 
"  purpose." 


50  PATRONAGE    OF   LEARNED   MEN.  \_Oliver 

Noble  purposes  lie  nevertheless  fully  achieved,  and  a 
fame  which  will  set  him  ever  apart  amongst  the  most 
illustrious  of  Englishmen.  Let  our  last  allusions  he  to 
such  parts  of  his  character  as  no  doubt  can  possibly  rest 
upon.  Of  his  patronage  of  Hterature  and  learned  men, 
M.  Guizot  speaks  with  due  respect.  Though  he  holds 
that  his  mind  was  neither  naturally  elegant  nor  richly 
cultivated,  he  yet  cannot  fail  to  see  that  his  free  and 
liberal  genius  understood  thoroughly  the  wants  of  the 
human  intellect.  And  while  M.  Guizot's  experience  has 
taught  him  that  absolute  power,  on  emerging  from  great 
social  disturbances,  takes  its  principal  delight  and  achieves 
its  easiest  triumphs  in  the  promotion  of  material  prospe- 
rity, still,  in  regard  to  Cromwell,  he  frankly  admits  that 
few  despots  have  so  carefully  confined  their  despotism 
within  the  limits  of  practical  necessity,  and  allowed  the 
human  mind  such  a  wide  range  of  freedom.  He  sees  in 
him  the  practical  saviour  of  the  two  old  Universities, 
and  the  founder  of  the  University  of  Durham :  following 
out  and  establishing,  in  both,  what  the  Statesmen  of  the 
Long  Parliament  had  begun.  He  is  glad  to  record  that  he 
offered  Hobbes  the  post  of  a  secretary  in  his  household, 
that  he  continued  the  employment  of  Milton,  and  that 
he  took  no  offence  at  either  Casaubon  or  Selden,  when 
the  one  declined  his  pension  and  the  other  his  invitation 
to  write  a  history  of  the  civil  wars.  He  dwells  with 
pleasure  on  his  kindness  to  the  learned  Usher,  on  his 
desire  to  stand  well  with  Cudworth  and  with  Taylor,  on 
his  frank  patronage  of  all  the  lettered  Puritans,'  on  his 
friendly  intercourse  with  Marvel  and  Morland,  with 
Petty  the  Irish  statist  and  with  Pell  the  famous  linguist, 
and  on  the  facts  that  Waller  had  a  place  in  his  court 
(we  have  evidence,  since  M.  Guizot  wrote,  that  he 
put  no  mean  value  on  the  poet's  famous  panegyric^), 

^  "When  the  great  design  of  pub-  has  no  guilt  upon  him  unless  it  be 

lishing  the  Polyglott   was   set  on  "to  be  revenged  for  your  soe  wil- 

foot  by  Dr.  Walton,  Cromwell  per-  "  linglye  mistakinge  mee   in   your 

mitted  the   paper  to  be  imported  '*  verses  ;"    and  talks  of  putting 

duty  free.  Waller  to  redeem  him  from  himself, 

2  A  brief  but  remarkable  letter  as  he  had  already  from  the  world, 
was  brought  to  light  the  other  day,  in  The  great  Protector  was  not  insen- 
which  Cromwell,  writing  from  White-  sible  to  those  noble  and  ever  memo- 
hall  in  1655,  tells  Waller  that  he  rable  lines.    Waller  had  known  well 


Cromwell.']  protectorate  court  circular.  51 

that  Butler  was  permitted  to  meditate  Hudibras  in  the 
house  of  one  of  his  officers,  and  that  Davenant  obtained 
his  permission  to  open  a  private  theatre  for  performance 
of  his  comedies.  He  might  have  added  that  the  Lord 
Protector  had  himself  a  taste  for  innocent  and  cheerful 
recreation ;  that  he  had  no  objection  to  play  at  Crambo, 
or  even  occasionally  to  smoke  a  pipe  with  Lord  Commis- 
sioner Whitelocke,  who  also  has  left  us  a  pleasant 
anecdote  contrasting  his  laughter  and  gaiety  to  the  sol- 
diers with  the  greater  impatience  and  reserve  of  Ireton  ; 
and  that,  in  the  correspondence  of  one  of  the  Dutch 
ambassadors,  there  is  a  picture  of  his  courteous  habits  on 
state  occasions,  and  of  the  dignified  and  graceful  conduct 
of  his  household,  which  far  exceeds,  in  sober  grandeur 
and  worth,  any  other  court  circular  of  that  age.  "  The 
"  music  played  all  the  while  we  were  at  dinner,"  says 
Herr  Jongestall,  "  and  after,  the  Lord  Protector  had  us 
"  into  another  room,  where  the  Lady  Protectress  and 
"  others  came  to  us,  and  we  had  also  music  and  voices." 
To  these  graces  of  his  private  life,  and  to  his  domestic 
love  and  tenderness,  which  even  his  worst  enemies  have 
admitted,  M.  Guizot  is  of  course,  not  slow  to  pay  tribute ; 
but  on  one  point  he  has  suffered  himself  to  be  strangely 
misled.  He  gravely  mentions  Cromwell's  infidelity  to 
his  wife,  as  if  it  were  an  admitted  fact,  and  not  a  mere 
royalist   slander;    and    he    seems   to   think   that   some 

how  to  make  his   Panegyric  most  '*  Hither  the  oppressed  shall  hence- 
pleasing  to  his  great  kinsman's  ear.  forth  resort 

**  Justice  to  crave,  and  succour  of 
**  The  Sea's  our  own,  and  now  all  your  Court, 

nations  greet  **  And  show  your  Highness  not  for 
**  With  bending  sails  each  vessel  in  ours  alone 

our  fleet,  *'  But   for  the  World's    Protector 
*  *  Your  power   resounds  as  far  as  shall  be  known  .   .  . 

wind  can  blow,  "  To  pardon  willing,  and  to  punish 
"  Or  swelling  sails  upon  the  globe  loth, 

may  go  .   .   .  "  You  strike  with  one  hand,    but 
"  Whether  this  portion  of  the  world  you  heal  with  both  .  .  . 

were  rent  "  Still  as  you  rise,  the  State,   ex- 
**  By  the  wide  ocean  from  the  con-  alted  too, 

tinent,  "  Finds    no    distemper   while    'tis 
"  Or  thus  created,  it  was  sure  de-  changed  by  you — 

signed  *'  Changed  like  the  World's  great 
"To  be  the  sacred  refuge  of  man-  scene,  when  without  noise 

kind.  "  The    rising   Sun   night's   vulgar 

lights  destroys  ! " 

E  2 


63  WIFE    OF    THE    PROTECTOR.  \Oliver 

complaints  of  her  own  remain,  in  proof  of  a  well-founded 
jealousy.  Jealousy  there  may  be,  in  the  solitary  letter 
of  this  excellent  woman  which  has  descended  to  us  ;  but 
it  is  the  jealousy  only  of  a  gentle  and  sensitive  nature, 
shrinking  from  the  least  ruflEe  or  breath  of  doubt  that  can 
come  between  itself  and  the  beloved.  "  My  dearest,"  she 
writes,  "  I  wonder  you  should  blame  me  for  writing  no 
"  oftener,  when  I  have  sent  three  for  one  :  I  cannot  but 
"  think  they  are  miscarried.  Truly,  if  I  know  my  own 
"  heart,  I  should  as  soon  neglect  myself  as  to  omit  the 
"  least  thought  towards  you,  when  in  doing  it  I  must  do 
"  it  to  myself.  But  when  I  do  write,  my  dear,  I  seldom 
"  have  any  satisfactory  answer,  which  makes  me  think  my 
"  writing  is  slighted ;  as  well  it  may  ;  but  I  cannot  but 
"  think  your  love  covers  my  weakness  and  infirmities. 
"  Truly  my  life  is  but  half  a  life  in  your  absence."  That 
is  not  the  writing  of  a  woman  jealous  of  anything  but 
the  share  of  her  husband's  time  and  care  which  public 
affairs  steal  from  her.  Most  touching,  too,  is  a  letter  of 
his  own  of  nearly  the  same  date,  written  to  her  from  the 
very  midst  of  the  toils  and  perils  of  Dunbar ;  in  which 
he  tells  her  that  truly,  if  he  does  not  love  her  too  well, 
he  thinks  he  errs  not  on  the  other  hand  much,  and 
assures  her  that  she  is  dearer  to  him  than  any  creature. 
Let  M.  Guizot  be  well  assured  that  he  has  here  fallen 
into  error. 

Of  another  error  into  which  he  has  fallen,  also  con- 
nected with  the  domesticities  of  Cromwell,  we  have  now, 
in  conclusion,  to  speak  in  somewhat  more  detail.  It 
touches  an  interesting  point  in  Cromwell's  history,  and 
we  are  happy  to  be  able  to  remove  all  further  doubt 
respecting  it.  By  none  who  have  yet  written  on  the 
subject  has  it  been  stated  correctly. 

Five  sons  were  born  to  Cromwell,  of  whom  the  youngest, 
James,  born  in  1632,  certainly  died  in  his  infancy,  and 
the  eldest,  Eobert,  born  in  1621,  is  supposed  in  all  the 
biographies  not  to  have  survived  his  childhood.  The 
second  son,  Oliver,  born  in  1623,  grew  to  manhood,  and 
his  name  is  to  be  found  enrolled  as  a  cornet  in  the  eighth 
troop  of  what  was  called  "  Earl  Bedford's  Horse."  He 
was  killed  in  battle ;  but,  in  our  opinion,  certainly  not  so 
early  as  appears  to  be  fixed  by  Mr.  Carlyle,  who  accepts 


Cromwell. '\  family  histoey.  53 

an  allusion,  in  a  letter  of  his  father's  written  after  Marstou 
Moor,  as  referring  to  this  loss,  which  we  are  about  to 
show  might  have  had  quite  another  reference.  Be  this 
as  it  may,  however,  all  the  biographers  up  to  this  time 
have  agreed,  in  regard  to  the  eldest,  Robert,  that  what  is 
comprised  in  Mr.  Carlyle's  curt  notice,  "  Named  for  Ms 
"  grandfather.  No  farther  account  of  him.  Died  before 
"  ripe  yearsy' — must  be  taken  to  express  whatever  now 
can  be  known.  Cromwell's  only  distinct  reference  to  any 
of  his  sons  while  yet  in  tender  years,  is  contained  in  a 
letter  addressed  to  his  cousin,  Oliver  St.  John's  wife, 
while  she  was  staying  with  his  friend  and  relative  Sir 
William  Masham,  at  Otes,  in  Essex ;  and  Mr.  Carlyle 
connects  the  reference  in  this  letter  with  the  fact  that 
some  two  or  three  of  Cromwell's  sons  were  certainly 
educated  at  the  neighbouring  public  school  of  Felsted, 
where  their  maternal  grandfather  had  his  country-seat. 
But  the  allusion  surely  relates  specifically  to  one  son,  who 
appears  to  have  been  either  staying  with  the  Mashams  at 
the  time,  or  the  object  of  some  particular  care  and  sym- 
pathy on  their  part.  "  Salute  all  my  friends  in  that 
"  family  whereof  you  are  yet  a  member.  I  am  much 
"  bound  unto  them  for  their  love.  I  bless  the  Lord  for 
"  them !  and  that  my  son,  by  their  procurement,  is  so 
"  well.     Let  him  have  your  prayers,  your  counsel." 

Such  had  been  the  amount  of  existing  information 
respecting  the  two  eldest  sons  of  Cromwell,  when,  before 
the  publication  of  Mr.  Carlyle's  work,  the  present  Avriter, 
in  the  Fifth  Volume  of  his  Statesmen  of  the  Common- 
wealth, reproduced  from  one  of  tbe  king's  pamphlets  in 
the  British  Museum,  a  very  striking  account  of  the  death- 
bed of  the  Lord  Protector,  written  by  a  groom  of  the 
chamber  in  waiting  on  him.  In  this,  Cromwell  was  re- 
presented calling  for  his  Bible,  and  desiring  those  verses 
from  the  fourth  chapter  of  the  Epistle  to  the  Philippians 
to  be  read  to  him,  in  which  the  Apostle  speaks  of  having 
learned,  in  whatever  state  he  was,  therewith  to  be  con- 
tent, for  he  could  do  all  things  through  Christ  which 
strengthened  him.  "  ^Yhich  read,"  (the  account  pro- 
ceeded) "  said  he,  to  use  his  own  words  as  near  as  I  can 
"  remember  them.  This  scripture  did  once  save  my  life ; 
"  when  my  eldest  son  died;  tchich  went  as  a  dagger  to  my 


54  ELDEST   SON   OF    PROTECTOR.  \_Oliver 

"  heart :  indeed  it  did/'  Naturally  enough,  this  aiFecting 
passage  was  supposed  by  the  writer  who  reproduced  it  to 
relate  to  his  son's  death  in  battle,  and  Mr.  Carlyle  arrived 
also  at  the  same  conclusion  so  confidently,  that  after 
"  eldest  son  ''  he  put  in  "  poor  Oliver  "  in  reprinting  it, 
at  the  same  time  carefully  marking  the  words  as  an 
insertion.  M.  Guizot,  however,  has  gone  two  steps  further, 
and  printed  the  passage  thus :  "  Ce  texte,  dit-il,  m'a 
"  sauve  une  fois  la  vie,  quand  mon  fils  aine,  mon  paiivre 
"  Olivier,  fat  tue,  ce  qui  me  perca  le  coeur  comme  un 
"  poignard."  In  making  this  change  without  the  least 
authority,  M.  Gruizot  marked  unconsciously  the  weak 
point  in  the  supposition  he  had  adopted  from  others,  and 
on  which  he  was  himself,  too  confidently  proceeding.  If 
the  Protector  had  really  intended  his  allusion  for  the  son 
who  had  been  slain  in  battle,  would  he  not,  in  place  of 
the  simple  expression  *'  when  my  eldest  son  died,"  more 
probably  have  said  just  exactly  what  M.  Guizot  has 
thought  it  necessary  to  say  for  him  ? 

We  are  now  in  a  position  to  prove  that  the  allusion  was 
not  to  Oliver,  but  to  Robert ;  that  Robert  lived  till  his 
nineteenth  year ;  that  he  was  buried  at  Felsted  within 
seven  months  of  the  date  of  the  letter  containing  the 
allusion  to  the  kindness  of  the  Mashams  respecting  him ; 
and  that  his  youth  had  inspired  such  promise  of  a  future 
as  might  well  justify  the  place  in  his  father's  heart  kept 
sacred  to  his  memory  as  long  as  life  remained.  In  the 
register  of  burials  in  the  parish  church  of  Felsted,  under 
the  year  1639,  is  the  following  entry  :  "  Eobertus  Crom- 
"  well  filius  honorandi  viri  M^J^  Oliveris  Cromwell  et 
"  Elizabethae  uxoris  ejus  sepultus  fuit  31°  die  Maii.  Et 
"  Robertus  fuit  eximie  pius  juvenis  deum  timens  supra 
"  multos."  '  Which  remarkable  addition  to  a  simple 
mention  of  burial,  we  need  hardly  point  out  as  of  ex- 

*  This  entry  has  been  more  than  name,    "^t'^^er  and  ITz'^gs,"  says  Sel- 

once  carefully  examined,  and  is  here  den  {IHtles  of  Honour,  Ivi.),  "often 

l>rinied  verbatim  et  litei'atim,   as  it  "signify  in  the  old  feudal  law  of 

stands  in  the  register.     The  word  "the  Empire,  a  gentleman,  as  the 

denoted  by  the  conti-action  M*'*  is  * '  Avord  gentleman  is  signified  in  no- 

"  Militis,"  in  the  sense  of  esquire,  or  "  bilisy  and  not  a  dubbed  knight  ; 

arm-bearing  gentleman,   and  there  "  as  with  us  in  England,  the  word 

are  some  rare  examples  of  its  use  "  m?7^Ves  denotes  gentlemen  or  great 

with  this  meaning  before  a  proper  "  freeholders  of  the  country  also." 


Cromwell.']  "vm  honorandus."  55 

tremely  rare  occurrence  on  tliat  most  formal  of  all  the 
pages  of  liistory — a  leaf  of  the  parish  register  ;  where  to  be 
born,  and  to  die,  is  all  that  can  in  justice  be  conceded  to 
either  rich  or  poor.  The  friend  who  examined  the  original 
for  us  could  find  no  other  instance  in  the  volume  of  a 
deviation  from  the  strict  rule.  Among  all  the  fathers, 
sons,  and  brothers,  crowded  into  its  records  of  birth  and 
death,  the  only  vir  honorandus  is  the  puritan  squire  of 
Huntingdon.  The  name  of  the  vicar  of  Felsted  in  1639 
was  "Wharton  ;  this  entry  is  in  his  handwriting,  and  has 
his  signature  appended  to  it ;  and  let  it  henceforward  be 
remembered  as  the  good  Mr.  Wharton's  distinction,  that, 
long  before  Cromwell's  name  was  famous  beyond  his 
native  county,  he  had  appeared  to  this  incumbent  of  a 
small  Essex  parish  as  a  man  to  be  honoured. 

The  tribute  to  the  youth  who  passed  so  early  away, 
uncouthly  expressed  as  it  is,  takes  a  deep  and  mournful 
significance  from  the  words  which  lingered  last  on  the 
dying  lips  of  his  heroic  father.  If  Heaven  had  but 
spared  all  that  gentle  and  noble  promise  which  repre- 
sented once  the  eldest  son  and  successor  of  Cromwell's 
name,  the  sceptre  then  falling  might  have  found  a  hand 
to  grasp  and  sustain  it,  and  the  history  of  England  taken 
quite  another  course.  The  sad  and  sorry  substitute — is 
it  not  written  in  M.  Guizot's  narrative  of  the  Protectorate 
of  Eichard  Cromwell  ? 


DANIEL  DE  FOE/ 

1661—1731. 


The  Novels  and  Miscdlaneous    Works  of  Daniel  Be  Foe;  with  a  Bio- 
graphical Memoir  of  the  Author.     20  vols.  12mo.     Oxford:  1842. 

The  Works  of  Daniel  De  Foe.     3  vols,  royal  8vo.     London  :  1843. 


Swift  proposed,  for  one  of  the  sour  consolations  of  liis 
Irish  exile,  to  compile  a  catalogue  of  Things  that  Ought 
to  have  Succeeded.  A  modern  version  of  the  sorry  Ust 
would  be  incomplete  wdthout  the  Complete  Editions  of 
De  Foe.  Better  undertakings  have  never  more  decisively- 
failed.  Of  the  only  two  attempts,  now  before  us,  made 
with  any  sort  of  pretension  to  success,  the  first  scantly 
executed  a  limited  design,  and  the  second  abruptly  stopped 
with  four-fifths  of  its  labour  unaccomplished.  Such  as 
they  are,  the  intelligent  bookseller  ofi'ers  them  for  some- 
thing less  than  a  fourth  of  their  original  cost,  and  has  yet 
to  comxplain  that  his  customers  turn  away.  He  would 
fain  think  better  of  the  writer  with  whom  his  boyhood 
associates  the  first  and  most  enduring  delight  he  has 
received  from  literature  ;  and  perhaps  he  moves  him  wdth 
some  reluctance  from  that  popular  shelf  which  holds  the 
Pope,  the  Swift,  and  the  Addison. 

It  is  with  De  Foe  dead,  as  it  was  with  De  Foe  living. 
He  stands  apart  from  the  circle  of  the  reigning  wits  of  his 
time,  and  his  name  is  not  called  over  with  theirs.  What 
in  this  respect  was  formerly  the  fashion,  is  the  fashion 
still ;  and,  whether  sought  for  in  the  histories  of  Doctor 
Smollett  or  of  Lord  Mahon,  his  niche  is  vacant.     His  life, 

^  From  the  Edhiburgh  Eevieiv,  October,  1845.     With  some  additions. 


58  CHURCH   AND   STATE    UNDER   CHARLES    II.    {^Daniel 

to  be  fairly  presented,  should  he  written  as  the  "  Life  and 
"  Strange  Surprising  Adventures  of  Daniel  De  Foe,  who 
"  Lived  about  Seventy  Years  all  Alone,  in  the  Island  of 
*'  Great  Britain."  It  might  then  be  expected  to  compare, 
in  vicissitude  and  interest,  with  his  immortal  romance ; 
as  hitherto  written,  it  has  only  shared  the  fate  of  his 
manly  but  perishable  polemics. 

He  was  born  much  about  the  time  of  that  year  of  grace 
1661,  when  Mr.  Pepys  and  his  wife,  walking  in  Whitehall 
Gardens,  saw  "  the  finest  smocks  and  linen  petticoats  of 
*'  my  Lady  Castlemaine,  laced  with  rich  lace  at  the 
"  bottom,''  that  ever  they  saw :  "  and  did  me  good  to 
"  look  at  them,"  adds  the  worthy  man.  There  was  little 
else  in  those  days  to  do  any  body  good.  The  people, 
drunk  with  the  orgies  of  the  Eestoration,  rejoiced  in 
nothing  so  much  as  in  pimps  and  courtesans  ;  and  to  be 
a  bad  Englishman  and  a  worse  Christian,  was  to  be  a 
good  Protestant  and  a  loyal  subject.  Sheldon  governed 
the  Church,  and  Clarendon  the  State  ;  the  bishop  having 
no  better  charity  than  to  bring  Presbyterian  preachers 
into  contempt,  and  the  chancellor  no  better  wisdom  than 
to  reduce  them  to  beggary.  While  Sheldon  entertained 
his  dinner.-table  with  caricatures  of  a  dissenting  minister's 
sermon,  "  till,"  says  one  of  his  guests,  "  it  made  us  all 
*'  burst,"  Clarendon  was  drawing  up  that  act  of  unifor- 
mity, by  which,  in  one  day,  he  threw  out  three  thousand 
ministers  from  the  benefices  they  held. 

This  was  in  1662  ;  and  the  beginning  of  that  system 
of  religious  persecution,  under  which,  with  God's  blessing, 
the  better  part  of  the  English  character  re-awakened,  and 
the  hardy  virtues  of  Dissent  struck  root  and  flourished. 
Up  to  this  time,  vast  numbers  of  the  Presbyterians^ 
strongly  attached  to  monarchy,  desired  but  a  reasonable 
settlement  of  episcopacy,  and  would  have  given  in  their 
adherence  to  any  moderate  system.  The  hope  of  such  a 
compromise  was  now  rudely  closed.  In  1663  the  Con- 
venticle Act  was  passed,  punishing  with  transportation  a 
third  ofi'ence  of  attendance  on  any  worship  but  that  of  the 
Church  ;  and  while  the  plague  was  raging,  two  years  after, 
the  Oxford  Act  banished  five  miles  from  any  corporate 
town  all  who  should  refuse  a  certain  oath,  which  no  Non- 
conformist could  honestly  take.     Secret,  stealthy  worship 


De  Foe."]  mr.  foe  of  cripplegate.  69 

was  tlie  resource  left ;  and  other  things  throve  in  secret 
T\dth  it,  which  would  less  have  prospered  opeiily.  Sub- 
stantial citizens,  wealthy  tradesmen,  even  gossiping 
secretaries  to  the  admiralty,  began  to  find  other  employ- 
ment than  the  criticism  of  Lady  Castlemaine's  lace,  or 
admiration  of  Mistress  Nell  Gwynne's  linen.  It  appeared 
to  be  dawning  on  them  at  last,  that  they  were  really  living 
in  the  midst  of  infamy  and  baseness ;  that  buffoons  and 
courtesans  were  their  rulers ;  that  defeat  and  disgrace 
were  their  portion ;  that  a  Dutch  fleet  was  riding  in  the 
channel,  and  a  perjured  and  pensioned  Popish  despot 
sitting  on  the  throne. 

The  Indulgence  granted  to  Dissenters  in  the  year  of 
the  Dutch  war  (the  previous  year  had  been  one  of  fierce 
persecution),  opened,  among  other  meeting-houses,  that 
of  Little  St.  Helen's,  Bishopsgate ;  where  the  Hev.  Dr. 
Annesley,  ejected  from  his  living  of  Cripplegate  by  the 
Act  of  Uniformity,  administered  his  pious  lessons.  Under 
him  there  sate,  in  that  congregation  of  earnest  listeners, 
the  family  of  a  wealthy  butcher  of  St.  Giles's  Cripple- 
gate, Mr.  James  Foe ;  and  the  worthy  minister  would 
stop  approvingly,  as  he  passed  the  seats  of  Mr.  Foe,  to 
speak  to  that  bright-eyed  lad  of  eleven,  by  name  Daniel, 
whose  activity  and  zeal  in  the  good  cause  were  already 
such,  that,  in  fear  their  Popish  governors  might  steal 
away  their  printed  Bibles,  he  had  "  worked  like  a  horse 
"  till  he  had  written  out  the  whole  Pentateuch."  For, 
the  gleam  of  liberty  to  Dissenters  had  been  but  a  veil  for 
the  like  indulgence  to  Papists  ;  and  it  was  known  at  this 
very  time,  that  the  high-minded  Eichard  Baxter  had 
refused  a  bribe  of  50/.  a-year,  to  give  in  his  public  approval 
of  such  questionable  favours  of  the  Crown. 

Mr.  James  Foe,  a  grave,  reserved,  and  godly  man,' 
seems  to  have  been  proud  of  his  son  Daniel.     He  gave 

1  He  lived   till   1707,    and  two  "  that   godly   minister,   wlncli   we 

yeai-s   before   his  death  wrote  this  "  should  not  have  done  had  not  her 

testimony  to  a  servant's  character,  *' conversatioa  been  becoming   the 

which  now  supplies  no  bad  testi-  "  gospel.     From   my  lodgings,    at 

mony  to  his  own  : — "  Sarah  Pierce  "  the  Bell  in  Broad-street,   having 

"  lived  with  us  about  fifteen  or  six-  "  left  my  house   in  Throgmorton- 

"  teen  years  since,  about  two  years  ;  "  street,  October  10,   1705.     \Yit' 

*'  and  behaved  herself  so  well  that  '*  ness  my  hand,  James  Foe." 
"  we  recommended  her  to  IVIr.  Cave, 


GO  A  BOXING  ENGLISH  BOY.  [Daniel 

liim  tlie  best  education  whicb.  a  Dissenter  bad  it  in  bis 
power  to  give.  He  sent  bim  to  tbe  tben  famous  Aca- 
demy at  Newington  Green,  kept  by  Mr.  Cbarles  Morton, 
an  excellent  Oxford  Scbolar,  and  a  man  of  various  and 
large  ability ;  wbom  Harvard  College  in  New  England 
afterwards  cbose  for  vice-president,  wben  driven  by  eccle- 
siastical persecution  to  find  a  borne  beyond  tbe  Atlantic. 
Here  tbe  lad  was  put  tbrougb  a  course  of  tbeology;  and 
was  set  to  study  tbe  rudiments  of  political  science.  Tbese 
tbings  Mr.  Morton  reckoned  to  be  a  part  of  education. 
Young  Daniel  also  acquired  a  competent  knowledge  of 
matbematics  and  natural  pbilosopby ;  of  logic,  geograpby, 
and  bistory ;  and,  wben  be  left  tbe  scbool,  was  reasonably 
accomplisbed  in  Latin  and  Greek,  and  in  Frencb  and 
Italian.^  He  bad  made  bimself  known,  too,  as  a  ''  boxing 
"  Englisb  boy  ; "  wbo  never  struck  liis  enemy  wben  be 
was  down.  All  tbis  be  recounted,  witb  no  immodest  or 
unmanly  pride,  wben  assailed  in  after  life  by  Browne  and 
Tutcbin,  for  bis  mean  Dissenter's  education.  It  was  an 
act  of  justice  to  bis  ancient  fatber,  be  said,  tben  still 
living,  freely  to  testify  tbat,  if  be  was  a  blockbead,  it  was 
nobody's  fault  but  bis  own,  notbing  in  bis  education  bav- 
ing  been  spared  tbat  could  qualify  bim  to  matcb  witb  tbe 
accurate  Doctor  Browne  or  tbe  learned  Observator ;  and 
b.e  added,  tbat  tbere  was  a  fiftb  language,  besides  tbose 
recounted,  in  wbicb  it  bad  been  Mr.  Morton's  endeavour 

^  In  later  life,  when  replying  with  "  pliilosopliy,  and  could  never  find 

great  dignity  and  temper  to  an  at-  "  between  the  two  ends  of  nature, 

tack  by  Swift,   he  adverts  to  what  "  generation   and   corruption,    one 

some  of  his  studies  in  those  eai-lier  "  species  out  of  which  such  a  crea- 

days  had   been.      "Illiterate  as  I  *' ture could  be  formed.     I  thought 

"am,"    he  says,  repeating  Swift's  "  myself  master  of  geography,  and 

acrimony,    ' '  I  have  been  in  my  time  ' '  to  possess  sufficient  skill  in  astro- 

"  pretty  well   master  of  five  Ian-  *' nomy  to  have  setup  for  a  country 

"  guages,  and  have  not  lost  them  "  almanac -writer  ;    yet   could,     in 

"  yet ;  but  my  father  left  the  Ian-  '*  neither  of  the  globes,  find  either 

"  guage  of  Billingsgate  quite  out  of  "in  what  part  of  the  world  such  a 

"  my  education.     I  have  also  made  "  heterogeneous  creature  lives,  nor 

"  a  little  progress  in  science.  I  have  "  under  the  influence  of  what  hea- 

"  read  'Euclid's  Elements,' and  yet  "  venly  body  he  can  be  produced. 

**  never  found  the  mathematical  de-  "From   whence    I   conclude,  very 

"  scription  of  a  scurrilous  gentle-  "  frankly,  that   either  there  is  no 

"  man.      I  have   read   logic,   but  "  such   creature  in  the  world,    or 

"  could  never  see  a  syllogism  formed  "  that,  according  to  Mr.  Examiner, 

"  upon  the  notion  of  it.     I  went  "  I  am  a  stupid  idiot,  and  a  very 

"  some  length  in  physics,  or  natural  "  illiterate  fellow." 


Be  Foe.'\      a  manly  exglish  EDrcATiox.  6  J 

to  practice  and  improve  his  scholars.  "  He  read  all  his 
*'  lectures,  gave  all  his  systems,  whether  of  philosophy 
*'  or  divinity,  and  had  all  his'  declaimings  and  disserta- 
"  tions — in  EngJlsli.  We  were  not  critics  in  the  Greek 
**  and  Hebrew,  perfect  in  languages,  and  perfectly  igno- 
"  rant,  if  that  term  may  he  allowed,  of  our  mother  tongue. 
"  We  were  not  destitute  of  languages,  hut  we  were  made 
"  masters  of  English ;  and  more  of  us  excelled  in  that 
"  particular  than  of  any  school  at  that  time." 

So  passed  the  youth  of  Daniel  Foe,  in  what  may  he 
well  accounted  a  vigorous  and  healthy  English  training. 
With  sharp  and  strong  faculties,  with  early  and  active 
zeal,  he  looked  out  from  his  honest  father's  home  and  his 
liberal  teacher's  study,  upon  a  course  of  public  events 
well  fitted  to  enforce,  by  dint  of  bitter  contrast,  the  value 
of  high  courage,  of  stern  integrity,  and  of  unbending 
faithfulness.  He  would  be  told,  by  all  whom  he  esteemed, 
of  the  age  of  great  deeds  and  thoughts  which  had  lately 
passed  away  ;  and  thus  early  would  learn  the  difference, 
on  which  he  dwelt  in  one  of  his  first  writings,  between  the 
grand  old  blind  schoolmaster  of  Bunhill-fields,  just  buried 
in  his  father's  parish  of  Cripplegate,^  and  the  ribald  crowd 
of  profligate  poets  lounging  and  sauntering  in  St.  James's. 
There  is  no  better  school  for  the  love  of  virtue,  than  that 
of  hatred  and  contempt  for  vice.  He  would  hear  dis- 
cussed, with  fervid  and  honest  indignation,  the  recall  of 
the  Indulgence  in  1674,  after  the  measures  for  relief  of 
Dissent  had  been  defeated ;  the  persecution  of  Baxter 
and  Manton  in  the  following  year ;  the  subsequent  gross 
interference  of  the  Bishops  against  a  final  effort  for  ac- 
commodation ;  and  the  fierce^  cruelty  of  the  penal  laws 
against  Nonconformists,  between  1676  and  1678.  Then, 
ill  the  latter  memorable  year,  he  would  find  himself  in- 
volved in  that  sudden  and  fierce  re- action  of  the  Anti- 
Papist  feeling  of  the  time,  which,  while  Protestants  and 
Presbyterians  were  groaning  under  a  Popish  prince, 
sent  numberless  innocent  Boman  Catholic  gentlemen  to 
Protestant  and  Presbyterian  scaffolds. 

When  the  rage  of  the  so-called  Popish  Plot  burst  forth, 

1  Buried  in  tlie  chancel  of  St.  Giles  at  Cripplegate,  November,  1674, 
John  Milton. 


62  THE    POPISH   PLOT   AND    ITS    HERO.  \_T)amel 

Mr.  Morton's  favourite  pupil  was  in  his  seventeenth  year. 
We  need  not  say  how  freely  we  condemn  that  miserable 
madness  ;  or  in  what  scorii  we  hold  the  false-hearted  spies 
and  truculent  murderers,  whose  worthless  evidence  sacri- 
ficed so  many  noble  and  gentle  lives.  But  as  little  can 
we  doubt,  that,  to  honest  Presbyterians  then  existing,  the 
tiling  was  not  that  cruel  folly  it  now  seems  to  its  ;  and 
we  can  understand  their  welcoming  at  last,  in  even  such 
wild  frenzy,  a  popular  denunciation  of  the  faith  which 
they  knew  to  be  incompatible  with  both  civil  and  religious 
liberty,  yet  knew  to  be  the  faith  of  him  who  occupied, 
and  of  him  who  was  to  succeed  to,  the  throne.  Out  of 
the  villainy  of  the  Court,  sprang  this  counter- villainy  of 
Titus  Gates ;  and  the  meetings  in  which  that  miscreant 
harangued  the  London  citizens,  were  the  first  effectual 
demonstration  against  the  government  of  Charles  II.  We 
will  not  wonder,  then,  that  there  was  often  to  be  seen 
among  his  crowds  of  excited  listeners,  but  less  excited  than 
they,  a  middle-sized,  spare,  active,  keen-eyed  youth — the 
son  of  Mr.  Foe  of  Cripplegate. 

At  these  meetings  were  first  heard,  bandied  from  side 
to  side,  the  two  not  least  memorable  words  in  English 
history.  Then  broke  forth,  when  the  horrible  cruelties 
of  Lauderdale  were  the  theme,  groans  of  sympathy  for 
those  tortured  Cameronians  who  lived  on  the  refuse,  the 
"  weak  ''  of  the  milk,  and  so  had  got  the  Scotch  name  of 
Whigs.  Then,  when  justification  was  sought  for  like 
cruelties  and  tortures  against  the  opposite  faith,  shouts  of 
execration  were  hurled  against  the  Papists  who  would 
murder  Titus  Gates,  and  who,  for  their  thieving  and 
villainous  tendencies,  had  got  the  Irish  name  of  Tories. 
Young  Foe  remembered  this  in  after  life  ;  and  described 
the  blustering  hero  of  these  scenes,  with  a  squat  figure,  a 
vulgar  drawling  voice,  and,  right  in  the  centre  of  his  broad 
flat  face,  a  mouth  of  fit  capacity  for  the  huge  lies  it  uttered, 
"  calling  every  man  a  Tory  that  opposed  him  in  discourse.^' 
For>  be  it  noted  to  the  credit  of  the  youth's  sagacity,  he 
did  not  even  now,  to  adopt  his  own  expression,  "  come 
"  up  to  all  the  extravagances  of  some  people  in  their 
"  notions  of  the  Popish  plot."  He  believed,  indeed,  that 
wherever  sincere  Popery  was,  a  conspiracy  to  act  in  con- 
formity with  it  would  not  be  far  off.     "I  never  blame 


De  Foe.~\        a  stout  protestant  flail.  63 

"  men  who,  professing  principles  destructive  of  tlie  con- 
"  stitution  they  live  under,  and  believing  it  their  just  right 
''  to  supplant  it,  act  in  conformity  to  the  principles  they 
"  profess.  I  believe,  if  I  were  a  Papist,  I  should  do 
"  the  same.  Believing  the  merit  of  it  would  carry  me  to 
*'  heaven,  I  doubt  not  I  should  go  as  far  as  another.  But, 
"  when  we  ran  up  that  plot  to  general  massacres,  fleets  of 
"  pilgrims,  bits  and  bridles,  knives,  handcuffs,  and  a 
*'  thousand  such  things,  I  confess,  though  a  boy,  I  could 
"  not  then,  nor  can  now,  come  up  to  them.  And  my 
"  reasons  were,  as  they  still  are,  because  I  see  no  cause 
"  to  believe  the  Papists  to  be  fools,  whatever  else  we  had 
"  occasion  to  think  them.  A  general  massacre,  truly ! 
"  when  the  Papists  all  over  the  kingdom  are  not  five  to 
**  a  hundred,  in  some  counties  not  one,  and  within  the 
*'  city  hardly  one  to  a  thousand  !  " 

So  saved  from  the  general  folly  of  the  Presbyterian 
party,  and  intolerant  only  because  a  larger  toleration  was 
at  stake,  this  manly  and  sagacious  lad  needed  neither 
knife  nor  handcuff  to  save  himself  from  a  Papist.  He 
walked  through  the  thick  of  the  riots  with  reliance  on 
a  stout  oaken  cudgel,  which  he  called  his  "  Protestant 
*'  flail ; " '  and  he  laughed  at  the  monstrous  lies  that  fed  the 
vulgar  cravings,  and  kept  taverns  agape  with  terror.  See 
him  enter  one,  and  watch  the  eager  group.     A  fellow 

^  Witli  characteristic  and  manly  "  I  remember  I  saw  an  honest  stout 

humour  he  wrote,  several  years  after  "  fellow,  who  is  yet  alive,  with  one 

this   date: — "Now,    a   Protestant  "of  these  Protestant  instruments 

"flail  is  an  excellent  weapon.     A  "exorcise  seven  or  eight   ruffians 

"  pistol  is  a  fool  to  it.     It  laughs  "  in  Fleet-street,  and  drive  them 

* '  at  the  sword  or  cane.     You  know  ' '  all  before  him  quite  from  Fleet- 

"  there's  no  fence  against  a  flail.  "bridge  into   White-friars,  which 

"  For  my  part,   I  have  frequently  "  was    their  receptacle  ;    and    he 

"  walked  with  one  about  me  in  the  "  handled  it  so  decently  that  you 

"old  Popish  days,  and,  though  I  "would   wonder,    when   now   and 

"  never  set  up  for  a  hero,  yet,  when  "  then   one  or  two  of  them  came 

"armed  with    this   scourge  for  a  "  within  his  reach,  and  got  a  knock, 

"Papist,  I  remember  I  feared  no-  "to   see   how  they  would   dance: 

"  thing.     Murthering  men  in  the  "  nay,  so  humble  and  complaisant 

* '  dark  was  pretty  much  the  fashion  ' '  were  they,  that  every  now   and 

"  then,  and  every  honest  man  walked  "then  they  would   kiss  the  very 

"  the  streets  in  danger  of  his  life  ;  "  ground  at  his  feet ;    nor  would 

"yet  so  excellent  a  weapon  is  it,  "  they  scruple  descending  even  to 

"  that  really  the  very  apprehension  "  the  kennel  itself,  if  they  received 

"  ofitsoon  piitanendto  theassassi-  "but  the  word  of  command  from 

"  nations  that  then  were  practised.  "  this  most  Protestant  utensil." 


64  LYixG  LIKE  TRUTH.  \_Daniel 

bawls  forth  tlie  last  invention  against  "  the  Papishes." 
It  concerns  tlie  new  building  honest  men  took  such  pride 
in,  and  Papists,  for  a  reason,  hated  so.  It  is  about  the 
"  tall  bully  "  of  a  Monument ;  and  everybody  pricks  up 
his  ears.  AYhat  has  happened  ?  "  Why,  last  night,  six 
"  Frenchmen  came  up  and  stole  away  the  Monument ; 
"  and  but  for  the  Watch,  who  stopped  them  as  they  were 
"  going  over  the  bridge,  and  made  them  carry  it  back 
"  again,  they  might,  for  aught  we  know,  have  carried  it 
"  over  into  France.  These  Papishes  will  never  have 
**  done."  Is  the  tale  incredible  ?  JSTot  half  so  much,  as 
that  some  of  those  assembled  should  stare  and  doubt  it. 
But  now  steps  forward  "  Mr.  Daniel  Foe."  He  repeats 
the  story,  and  tells  the  unbelievers  to  satisfy  their  doubts 
by  going  to  the  spot,  "  where  they  'd  see  the  workmen 
"  employed  in  making  all  fast  again."  The  simpletons 
swallowed  the  joke,  "  and  departed  quite  satisfied."  The 
touch  of  reality  sent  it  down.  A  genius  for  homely 
fiction  had  strolled  into  the  tavern,  and  there  found  its 
first  victims.  They  deserved,  by  way  of  compensation,  a 
ripe  old  age,  and  the  reading  of  Robinson  €?^usoe. 

But  the  strolling  into  taverns  ?  It  is  little  likely  that 
Mr.  Morton,  or  the  elder  Mr.  Foe,  would  have  sanctioned 
it ;  but  the  Presbyterian  ministry  was  no  longer,  as  it 
once  had  been,  the  youth's  destination.  He  seems  to 
have  desired  a  more  active  sphere,  and  he  was  put  to  the 
business  of  commerce.  His  precise  employment  has  been 
questioned :  but,  when  his  Hbellers  in  later  life  called  him 
a  hosier,  he  said  he  had  never  been  apprentice  to  that 
craft,  though  he  had  been  a  trader  in  it;  and  it  is  tolerably 
certain  that,  in  seven  years  from  the  present  date,  he  had 
a  large  agency  in  Freeman's- court,  Cornhill,  as  a  kind 
of  middleman  between  the  manufacturer  and  the  retail 
trader.  He  was  a  freeman  of  London  by  his  birth ;  on 
embarking  in  this  business  of  hose-factor,  he  entered  the 
livery;  and  he  wrote  his  name  in  the  Chamberlain's  book, 
"  Daniel  Foe." 

Seven  eventful  years !  Trade  could  not  so  absorb  him, 
but  that  he  watched  them  with  eager  interest,  l^or  was 
it  possible  for  such  a  man  to  watch  them  mthout  hope. 
Hope  would  brighten  in  that  sensible  manly  heart,  when 
it  most  deserted  weaker  men's.    When  the  King,  alarmed, 


De  Foe.~\  se\t:x  eventful  years.  66 

flung  off  Ms  lounging  sloth  for  crueller  enjo\Tnents;  when 
lampoons  and  ballads  of  tlie  streets,  directed  against  the 
doings  in  Whitehall,  became  fiercer  and  bolder  than  even 
Duchess  Portsmouth's  impudence;  when  such  serious 
work  was  afoot,  that  a  satire  by  Dryden  counted  more 
at  Court  than  an  indecency  by  Rochester ;  when  bills  to 
exclude  a  Popish  succession  were  only  lost  in  the  upper 
House  by  means  of  a  phalanx  of  Protestant  bishops,  and 
the  lower  House  that  had  passed  them,  rudely  dissolved 
by  a  furious  monarch  and  intemperately  assailed  by  ser- 
vile churchmen,  was  calmly  defended  by  a  Sydney  and 
a  Somers ;  when,  the  legitimate  field  of  honest  warfare 
being  closed,  dark  conspii'acies  and  treasons  took  its 
place,  and  the  daring  boast  of  Shaftesbury  passed  reck- 
lessly from  mouth  to  mouth,  that  he  'd  walk  the  King 
leisurely  out  of  his  dominions,  and  make  the  Duke  of 
York  a  vagabond  on  the  earth  like  Cain  ; — no  fear  was 
likely  to  depress,  and  no  bragging  was  needed  to  keep  in 
hope,  this  clear,  shrewd  intellect.  The  young  Cornhill 
merchant  told  his  countrymen  afterwards,  how  it  had 
gone  with  him  then.  How  Tyranny  had  taught  him  the 
value  of  liberty.  Popery  the  danger  of  passive  pulpits, 
and  Oppression  how  to  prize  the  fence  of  laws ;  with  what 
interest  he  had  observed  the  sudden  visit  of  the  King's 
nephew,  William  of  Orange,  already  the  hero  of  the 
Protestant  liberties  of  Europe,  and  lately  wedded  to  the 
presumptive  heiress  of  the  throne ;  of  what  light  esteem 
he  held  the  monarch's  disregard  of  that  kinsman's  prudent 
counsel ;  and  with  what  generous  anger,  yet  unshrinking 
spirit,  he  saw  the  men  who  could  not  answer  Algernon 
Sydney's  book,  erect  a  scaffold  to  take  off  his  head. 

That  was  his  first  brave  impulse  to  authorship  of  his 
own.  In  the  year  made  infamous  by  the  judicial  murders 
of  Russell  and  Sydney,  he  published  his  first  pohtical 
essay.  It  was  a  prose  lampoon  on  High  Church  absurdi- 
ties ; '  and,  with  much  that  would  not  bear  present  revival, 
it  bore  the  stamp  of  a  robust  new  mind,  fresh  from  the 
reading  of  Rabelais.  It  stirred  the  veteran  libeller 
L'Estrange,  and  pamphlet  followed  pamphlet.     But  it 

^  The  allusion  in  the  text  is  to       seen  reason  to  doubt   whether  De 
the  Speculum  Ompegownoricm;  but       Foe  was  really  the  author, 
since  this  Essay  was  written  I  have 


66  DEA.TH   OF    CHARLES   THE    SECOND.         {Datliel 

needs  not  to  toucli  the  controversy  now.  It  is  dead  and 
gone.  Oxford  herself  repudiates,  with  shame,  the  decree 
she  passed  in  full  Convocation  on  the  day  of  Russell^s 
execution ;  promulgating,  on  pain  of  infamy  here  and 
damnation  hereafter,  the  doctrines  of  divine  right  and 
passive  obedience  ;  and  anathematising  twenty-seven  pro- 
positions from  Milton,  Baxter,  and  Godwin,  Bellarmine, 
Buchanan,  and  Hobbes,  as  seditious,  scandalous,  impious, 
blasphemous,  heretical,  and  damnable. 

Having  fleshed  his  maiden  pen,  the  young  merchant 
soon  resumed  it,  in  a  cause  again  involving  religious 
liberty ;  with  a  spirit  in  advance  of  his  party  ;  and  with 
force,  decision,  and  success.  The  reign  of  Charles  was 
now  setting,  in  a  sullen,  dire  persecution.  Chapels  were 
shut ;  ministers  dying  in  jail ;  congregations  scattered. 
A  man  who  would  not  take  the  sacrament,  was  whipped 
or  pilloried  ;  a  man  who  would  not  take  it  kneeling,  was 
plundered  or  imprisoned.  "  See  there  !  '^  cried  the  sharp 
strong  sense  of  Daniel  Foe,  whom  business  had  taken  to 
Windsor,  where  he  had  sauntered  into  St.  George's 
Chapel  with  a  friend — "  See  that  altar-piece  !  Our 
"  Saviour  administers  his  Last  Supper  to  his  disciples 
"  sitting  round  the  table;  and  because  we  would  copy  that 
"  posture,  the  Government  oppresses  us."  Almost  as  he 
spoke,  the  end  was  approaching.  Evelyn  had  seen  the 
King  on  the  past  Sunday  evening,  sitting  and  toying  with 
his  concubines,  Portsmouth,  Cleveland,  and  Mazarine. 
A  French  boy  sang  love-songs  in  a  glorious  gallery; 
and,  round  a  table  groaning  with  a  bank  of  two  thousand 
golden  pieces,  a  crew  of  profligate  courtiers  drank  and 
gambled.  *'  Six  days  after,  all  was  in  the  dust ; "  and 
caps  in  the  air  for  James  the  Second. 

Of  the  new  monarch's  greetings,  the  most  grovelling 
were  those  of  the  churchmen  and  the  lawyers.  The 
Bishop  of  Chester  preached  the  divinity  and  infallibility 
of  Kings ;  the  Temple  benchers  and  barristers  went  to 
Court  with  the  assurance  that  high  prerogative,  in  its  fullest 
extent,  was  the  subject's  best  security  for  liberty  and 
property;  and  in  every  pulpit  thanksgivings  resounded. 
In  the  first  months  of  the  reign,  our  hose-factor  of  Free- 
man's Yard  heard  it  publicly  preached  from  one  of  these 


De  Foe,']         "  out  "  with  monmouth.  67 

pulpits,  that  if  the  King  commanded  the  suhject's  head, 
and  sent  his  messengers  to  fetch  it,  the  subject  was  bound 
to  submit,  and,  as  far  as  possible,  facilitate  his  own 
decapitation.  Close  upon  this  came  the  sudden  tidings 
of  Monmouth's  ill-fated  landing ;  and  of  a  small  band  of 
daring  citizens  who  took  horse  and  joined  him,  Daniel  Foe 
was  one.  Perhaps  he  thought  his  own  head  nearer  danger 
than  it  was,  and  worth  a  stroke  for  safety.  He  knew,  at 
any  rate,  only  the  better  sides  of  Monmouth's  character. 
He  admired  his  popular  manners.  "  None  so  beautiful, 
"  so  brave  as  Absolon."  He  had  seen  him  among  the 
people  in  their  sports,  at  races  and  at  games,  and  thought 
his  bearing  sensible  and  manly.  What  matter  if  Lucy 
Walters  was  his  mother  ?  He  knew  him  to  be  a  sincere 
Protestant,  and  a  lover  of  civil  freedom ;  and  he  remem- 
bered the  more  kindly  his  disgrace  in  the  reign  just 
passed,  for  having  vainly  striven  to  moderate  Episcopal 
cruelties  in  Scotland,  when  he  saw  the  first  Scottish  act 
of  the  reign  just  begun,  in  a  law  to  inflict  death  on  con- 
venticle preachers.  In  a  word,  our  incipient  rebel  made 
no  nice  balance  of  danger  and  success ;  he  saw  what 
seemed  to  him  liberty  on  the  one  side,  and  slavery  on  the 
other,  and  he  resolved,  with  whatever  fortune,  to  strike 
a  blow  for  the  good  cause.  He  mounted  horse  and  joined 
the  invaders ;  was  with  them  in  Bristol  and  at  Bath ; 
and  very  narrowly  escaped  the  crash  that  followed. 

There  is  little  doubt  that  while  Bishops  Turner  and 
Ken  were  prolonging  Monmouth's  agonies  on  the  scaffold, 
for  the  chance  of  a  declaration  in  favour  of  divine  right 
and  non-resistance ;  and  while  Jeffreys's  bloody  campaign, 
through  the  scenes  of  the  late  rebellion,  was  consigning 
his  master  and  himself  to  eternal  infamy;  the  young 
rebel  citizen  had  eff'ected  a  passage  over  seas.  At  about 
this  time,  he  certainly  was  absent  from  England;  as 
certainly  had  embarked  some  capital  in  the  Spanish  and 
Portuguese  trade ;  and  no  one  has  questioned  his  narrow 
escape  from  the  clutch  of  Jeffreys.  The  mere  escape  had 
been  enough  for  other  men  ; — his  practical,  unwearying, 
versatile  energy,  made  it  the  means  of  new  adventure, 
the  source  of  a  larger  experience,  the  incentive  to  a  more 
active  life.  He  had  seen  Spain,  Germany,  and  France, 
before  he  again   saw  Freeman's-court,  Cornhill;    and, 

F  2 


68  ACTS   OF   JAMES   THE    SECOND.  [Datliel 

wlien  he  returned,  it  was  with  the  name  he  has  made 
immortal.     He  was  now  Daniel  Be  Foe. 

Whether  the  change  was  a  piece  of  innocent  vanity 
picked  up  in  his  travels,  or  had  any  more  serious  motive, 
it  would  now  he  idle  to  inquire.  By  hoth  names  he  was 
known  to  the  last ;  but  his  hooks,  in  almost  every 
instance,  bore  that  by  which  he  is  known  to  posterity. 

He  found  a  strange  scene  in  progress  on  his  return. 
The  power  of  the  King  to  dispense  with  the  laws,  had 
been  afSrmed  by  eleven  out  of  the  twelve  judges ;  and  he 
saw  this  monstrous  power  employed  to  stay  the  as  mon- 
strous persecution  of  Nonconformists  and  Dissenters.  A 
licence  purchased  for  fifty  shillings  had  opened  the  prison 
doors  of  E-ichard  Baxter ;  but  the  sturdy  lovers  of  freedom 
who  purchased  that  licence,  acknowledged,  in  the  act  of 
doing  it,  that  they  placed  the  King  above  the  laws.  It 
was  a  state  of  things  in  which  men  of  the  clearest  sight 
had  lost  their  way,  and  the  steadiest  were  daily  stumbling. 
"William  Penn  had  gone  up  to  Court  with  a  deputation 
of  thanks ;  he  was  seconded  by  not  a  few  Presbyterians ; 
he  had  the  support  of  all  those  classes  of  Dissent  whose 
idea  of  religion  rejected  altogether  the  alliance  of  civil 
government,  conceiving  itself  to  stand  immeasurably 
above  such  control ;  and,  though  the  main  Presbyterian 
body  stood  aloof,  it  was  in  an  attitude  of  deference  and 
fear,  without  dignity,  without  self-reliance.  For  a  while 
De  Foe  looked  on  in  silence ;  and  then  resolvedly  took 
his  course. 

Of  James  II's  sincerity  there  is  as  little  doubt,  as  of  his 
bigotry  and  meanness.  He  had  the  obstinate  weakness 
of  his  father.  "  There  goes  an  honest  gentleman,''  said 
the  Archbishop  of  Rheims,  some  year  or  two  later,  "  who 
*'  lost  three  kingdoms  for  a  mass."  His  unwearied,  sole 
endeavour,  from  the  hour  when  he  ascended  the  throne 
to  that  in  which  he  was  hurled  from  it,  was  to  establish 
the  Roman  Catholic  religion  in  England.  When  the 
Church,  that  had  declared  resistance  unchristian  and 
proffered  him  unconditional  obedience,  refused  him  a 
single  benefice  fat  or  lean,  and  kept  his  hungering  Popish 
doctors  outside  the  butteries  of  her  Oxford  colleges, — the 
Dissenters  became  his  hope.  If  he  could  array  Dissent 
against  the  Church,  there  was  an  entrance  yet  for  Rome. 


De  Foe.'\  warnings  disregarded.  6& 

That  was  his  passion.  He  had  literally  no  other ;  and, 
to  balance  or  counteract  it,  he  had  neither  breadth  of 
understanding  nor  warmth  of  heart.  It  stood  him  in  the 
stead,  therefore,  of  every  other  faith  or  feeling;  and, 
when  the  game  went  wholly  against  him,  he  had  no 
better  source  of  courage.  He  thought  but  of  "  raising 
*'  the  Host,"  and  winning  it  that  way. 

De  Foe  understood  both  the  game  and  the  gambler. 
We  could  name  no  man  of  the  time  who  understood  them 
so  clearly  as  this  young  trader  of  Cornhill.  He  saw  the 
false  position  of  all  parties;  the  blundering  clash  of 
interests,  the  wily  complications  of  policy.  He  spoke 
with  contempt  of  a  Church  that,  "with  its  "fawning, 
"  whining,  canting  sermons,''  had  played  the  Judas  to  its 
Sovereign.  He  condemned  the  address-making  Dis- 
senters, who,  in  their  zeal  for  religious  liberty,  had 
forgotten  civil  freedom.  He  exposed  the  conduct  of 
the  King,  as,  in  plain  words,  a  fraudulent  scheme  "  to 
"  create  a  feud  between  Dissenters  and  the  Establish- 
"  ment,  and  so  destroy  both  in  the  end."  And  with 
emphatic  eloquence  he  exhorted  the  Presbyterian  party, 
that  now,  if  ever,  they  should  make  just  and  reasonable 
terms  with  the  Church  ;  that  now,  if  ever,  should  her 
assumption  of  superiority,  her  disdain  of  equal  inter- 
course, her  denial  of  Christian  brotherhood,  be  effectually 
rebuked ;  that  between  the  devil  sick  and  the  devil  well, 
there  was  a  monstrous  difference ;  and  that,  failing  any 
present  assertion  of  rights  and  guarantees,  it  would  be 
hopeless  to  expect  them  when  she  should  have  risen, 
once  more  strengthened,  from  her  humble  diet  and  her 
recumbent  posture. 

The  advice  and  the  warning  were  put  forth  in  two  mas- 
terly publications.  The  Dissenters  condemned  them,  and 
took  every  occasion  to  disclaim  their  author.  De  Foe 
had  looked  for  no  less.  In  his  twenty-sixth  year,  he 
found  himself  that  solitary,  resolute,  independent  thinker, 
which,  up  to  his  seventieth  year,  he  remained.  What  he 
calls  the  "  grave,  weak,  good  men  "  of  the  party,  did  not 
fail  to  tell  him  of  his  youth  and  inexperience ;  but,  for  all 
that  fell  out,  he  had  prepared  himself  abundantly.  "  He 
"  that  will  serve  men,  must  not  promise  himself  that  he 
"  shaU  not  anger  them.     I  have  been  exercised  in  this 


70  THE    LANDING   AT   TORBAY.  \_Daniel 

"  usage  even  from  a  youth.  I  liad  their  reproaches  when 
"  I  blamed  their  credulity  and  confidence  in  the  flatteries 
"  and  caresses  of  Popery;  and  when  I  protested  against 
"  addresses  of  thanks  for  an  illegal  liberty  of  conscience 
"  founded  on  a  dispensing  power."  He  was  thus  early 
initiated  in  the  transcendent  art  of  thinking  and  standing 

ALONE. 

Whoso  can  do  this  manfully,  will  find  himself  least 
disposed  to  be  alone,  when  any  great  good  thing  is  in 
progress.  De  Foe  would  have  worked  with  the  meanest 
of  the  men  opposed  to  him,  in  the  business  of  the  nation's 
deliverance.  He  knew  that  Dyckvelt  was  now  in  England, 
in  communication  with  the  leaders  of  both  parties  in  the 
State.  He  had  always  honoured  the  steady-purposed 
Dutchman's  master  as  the  head  of  the  league  of  the 
great  European  confederacy,  which  wanted  only  England 
to  enable  it  to  complete  its  noble  designs.  He  believed 
it  to  be  the  duty  of  that  prince^  connected  both  by  birth 
and  marriage  with  the  English  throne,  to  watch  the 
course  of  public  affairs  in  a  country  which  by  even  the 
natural  course  of  succession  he  might  be  called  to  govern. 
But  he  despised  the  Tory  attempt  to  mix  up  a  claim  of 
legitimacy  with  the  greater  principle  of  elective  sove- 
reignty ;  and  he  laughed  with  the  hottest  of  the  Jacobites 
at  the  miserable  warming-pan  plot.  He  felt,  and  was 
the  first  to  state  it  in  print  at  the  time,  that  the  title  to 
the  throne  was  but  in  another  form  the  more  sacred  title 
of  the  people  to  their  liberties ;  and  so,  when  he  heard 
of  the  landing  at  Torbay,  he  mounted  his  "  rebel "  horse 
once  more.  He  was  with  the  army  of  William  when 
James  precipitately  fled  ;  he  was  at  the  bar  of  the  House 
of  Lords  when  Hampden  took  up  the  vote  of  non- 
allegiance  to  a  Popish  sovereign,  and  when  the  memo- 
rable resolution  of  the  13th  of  February  declared  that  no 
King  had  reigned  in  England  since  the  day  of  James's 
flight;  he  heard  William's  first  speech  to  the  Houses 
five  days  later ;  and,  "  gallantly  mounted  and  richly 
"  accoutred,"  he  was  foremost  in  the  citizen  troop  of 
volunteer  horse,  who  were  William  and  Mary's  guard  of 
honour  at  their  first  visit  to  Guildhall. 

^  Oldmixon's  account  is  charac-       old  Whig  libels  De  Foe,  but  a  suffi- 
teristic.     Of  course  the  inveterate       cient  refutation  of  his  sneers  -will 


De  Foe."]  hero-worship.  71 

De  Foe  never  ceased  to  commemorate  William's  bear- 
ing in  these  passages  of  his  life.  While  the  Convention 
debates  were  in  progress,  the  calmly  resolute  Stadtholder 
had  stayed,  secluded,  at  St.  James's.  Sycophants  sought 
access  to  him,  counsellors  would  have  advised  with  him, 
in  vain.  He  invited  no  popularity,  he  courted  no  party. 
The  only  Tory  chief  who  spoke  with  him,  came  back  to 
tell  his  friends  that  he  set  *'  little  value  on  a  Crown." 
The  strife,  the  heat,  the  violent  animosity,  the  doubtful 
success — all  that  in  these  celebrated  debates  seemed  to 
affect  his  life  and  fortune — moved  him  not.  He  desired 
nothing  to  be  concealed  from  him ;  but  he  said  nothing  to 
his  informants.  This  only  was  known :  he  would  not  hold 
his  crown  by  the  apron-strings  of  his  wife.  He  would 
not  reign  but  as  an  independent  sovereign.  "  They  are 
"  an  inconstant  people,  Marshal,"  he  quietly  observed  to 
Schomberg. 

Here,  then,  in  the  prince  who  now  ruled  over  England, 
was  a  man  who  also  could  stand  alone.  Here  was  a  king 
for  such  a  subject  as  De  Foe.  We  may  not  wonder  that 
the  admiration  conceived  of  him  by  the  citizen  merchant 
deepened  into  passion.  He  reverenced  him,  loved,  and 
honoured  him ;  and  kept  as  a  festival  in  his  house,  even 
to  the  close  of  his  life,  that  great  day  in  the  month 
of  November  which  is  so  remarkably  associated  with 

be  given  before  this  Essay  closes.  *' who,  being  gallantly  mounted  and 

"  Their  Majesties,"    he  says,    de-  *' richly  accoutred,  were  led  by  the 

scribing  the  grand  day  at   Guild-  **  Earl  of  Monmouth,  now  Earl  of 

hall,    ' '  attended    by    their    royal  * '  Peterborough,  and  attended  their 

"  highnesses  and  a  numerous  train  "  majesties  from  Whitehall.  Among 

"  of  nobility  and  gentry,  went  first  "  these  troopers,  who  were  for  the 

*'  to  a  balcony  pi-epared  for  them  at  "  most  part  Dissenters,  was  Daniel 

*'the  Angel  in  Cheapside,    to  see  *' Foe,   at   that  time  a  hosier  in 

"the  show;  which,  for  the  great  *' Freeman  s-yard,     Cornhill ;     the 

"number   of   liverymen,    the   full  "same  who  afterwards  was  pillo- 

"  appearance   of    the   militia    and  "  ried  for  writing  an  ironical  invec- 

"  artillery  company,  the  rich  adorn-  "  tive  against  the  Church,  and  did, 

"  ments  of  the  pageants,  and  the  "after  that,  'list  in  the  service  of 

"splendour  and  good  order  of  the  "Mr.    Robert   Harley,    and    those 

"  whole  proceeding,  outdid  all  that  "  brethren  of  his  who  passed  the 

"had  been  seen  before  upon  that  "  Schism  and  Occasional  bills,  broke 

"  occasion  ;  and  what  deserved  to  "  the    confederacy,    and    made    a 

"  be  particularly  mentioned,  was  a  "  shameful  and  ruinous  peace  with 

"  royal  regiment  of  volunteer  horse,  "France." 
"  made  up  of  the  chief  citizens, 


72  MARRIAGE   AND   ILL-FORTUNE.  \^Daniel 

William's  name.  On  that  day,  exclaimed  De  Foe  with 
enthusiasm,  he  was  horn ;  on  that  day  he  married  the 
daughter  of  England ;  on  that  day  he  rescued  the  nation 
from  a  bondage  worse  than  that  of  Egypt,  a  bondage  of 
soul  as  well  as  bodily  servitude  !  Its  first  celebration 
was  held  at  a  country  house  in  Tooting,  which  it  would 
seem  De  Foe  now  occupied:  and  the  manner  of  it 
afforded  in  itself  some  proof,  of  what  we  hardly  need  to 
be  told,  that  the  resolute,  practical  habits  of  this  earnest, 
busy  man,  were  not  unattended  by  that  genial  warmth  of 
nature  which  alone  imparts  strength  of  character  such  as 
his,  and  without  which  never  public  virtue,  and  rarely 
private,  comes  quite  to  its  maturity.  In  this  village,  too, 
in  this  year  of  the  Revolution,  we  find  him  occupied  in 
erecting  a  meeting-house;  in  drawing  together  a  Non- 
conformist congregation ;  and  in  providing  a  man  of 
learning  for  their  minister.  It  was  an  object  always  near 
his  heart.  For,  every  new  foundation  of  that  kind  went 
some  way  towards  the  rendering  Dissent  a  permanent 
separate  interest,  and  an  independent  political  body,  in 
the  State ;  and  the  Church's  reviving  heats  made  the  task 
at  once  imperative  and  easy.  Wherever  intemperate 
language,  and  overbearing  arrogant  persecution,  are  cha- 
racteristics of  the  highest  churchmen,  should  we  marvel 
that  sincere  churchgoers  turn  affrighted  from  the  flame 
they  see  incessantly  flickering  about  those  elevated  rods, 
which  they  had  innocently  looked  to  for  safe  conductors  ? 
But,  in  the  midst  of  his  labours  and  enjoyments,  there 
came  a  stroke  of  evil  fortune.  He  had  married  some  Httle 
time  before  this  (nothing  further  is  known  on  that  head, 
but  that  in  the  course  of  his  life  he  had  two  wives,  the 
first  named  Mary,  and  the  second  Susannah) ;  and,  with 
the  prospect  of  a  family  growing  up  around  him,  he  saw 
his  fortune  swept  suddenly  away  by  a  large  unsuccessful 
adventure.  One  angry  creditor  took  out  a  commission 
of  bankruptcy;  and  De  Foe,  submitting  meanwhile  to 
the  rest  a  proposition  for  amicable  settlement,  fled  from 
London.  A  prison  paid  no  debts,  he  said.  "  The  cruelty 
"  of  your  laws  against  debtors,  without  distinction  of 
"  honest  or  dishonest,  is  the  shame  of  your  nation.  It 
"  is  not  he  who  cannot  pay  his  debts,  but  he  who  can 
"  and  win,  who  must  necessarily  be  a  knave.     He  who 


De  Foe.^         the  sunday  gentleman.  73 

"  is  unable  to  pay  his  debts  at  once,  may  yet  be  able  to 
"  pay  them  at  leisure ;  and  you  should  not  meanwhile 
"  murder  him  by  law,  for  such  is  perpetual  imprison- 
"  ment."  So,  from  himself  to  his  fellow-men,  he  rea- 
soned always.  No  wrong  or  wretchedness  ever  befell 
De  Foe,  which  he  did  not  with  all  diligence  bestir  him- 
self to  turn  to  the  use  and  profit  of  his  kind.  To  what 
he  now  struggled  with,  through  two  desperate  years,  they 
mainly  owed,  seven  years  later,  that  many  most  atro- 
cious iniquities,  prevailing  in  the  bankrupt  refuges  of 
"Whitefriars  and  the  Mint,  were  repressed  by  statute  ;^ 
and  that  the  small  relief  of  William's  act  was  at  last 
reluctantly  vouchsafed.  He  had  pressed  the  subject 
with  all  his  power  of  plain  strong  sense,  and  with 
a  kind  of  rugged  impressiveness,  as  of  the  cry  of  a 
sufferer. 

His  place  of  retreat  appears  to  have  been  in  Bristol. 
Doubtless  he  had  merchant  friends  there.  An  acquaint- 
ance of  his  last  industrious  biographer,  Mr.  Walter  Wilson, 
mentions  it  as  an  honourable  tradition  in  his  family,  that 
at  this  time  one  of  his  Bristol  ancestors  had  often  seen 
and  spoken  with  "  the  great  De  Foe."  They  called  him, 
he  said,  the  Sunday  Gentleman^  because  through  fear  of 
the  bailiffs  he  did  not  dare  to  appear  in  public  upon  any 
other  day ;  while  on  that  day  he  was  sure  to  be  seen, 
with  a  fine  flowing  wig,  lace  ruffles,  and  a  sword  by  his 

^  The  extent  of  this  service  could  this  I  will  add,  from  another  of  his 

only  be  measured  for  the  reader  by  writings,     an    illustration    of    the 

a  description,  for  which  this  is  no  ''excesses"  of  dishonesty  to  which 

fitting  place,  of  the  atrocities  and  their  gross  facilities  tempted  men  : 

knaveries  of  every  kind  practised  in  ' '  Nothing  was  more  frequent  than 

those  privileged  haunts  of  desperate  "  for  a  man  in  full  credit  to  buy  all 

and  outlawed  men.    Well  warranted  **  the  goods  he  could  lay  his  hands 

was  the  pride  with  Avhich   he  re-  "on,  and  carry  them  directly  from 

marked  in  his  old  age  : — *'  I  had  **  the  house  he  bought  them  at  into 

*'  the  good  fortune,"  says  he,  "to  "  the  Friars,  and  then  send  for  his 

"  be  the  first  that  complained  of  **  creditors,    and   laugh  at    them, 

"this  encroaching   evil   in  former  "insult  them,  showing  them  their 

"days,  and  think  myself  not  too  "  own  goods  untouched,  offer  them 

"vain  in  saying  that  my  humble  "  a  trifle  in  satisfaction,  and  if  they 

"  representations,  in  a  day  when  I  "  refused  it,  bid  them  defiance  :  I 

"  could  be  heard,  of  the  abomina-  "  cannot  refrain  vouching  this  of 

"  ble  insolence  of  bankrupts,  prac-  "  my  own  knowledge,  since  I  have 

'  *  tised  in  the  Mint  and  Friars,  gave  '  *  more  than  many  times  been  served 

"  the  first  mortal  blow  to  the  pro-  "  so  myself." 
"  sperity  of  these  excesses."      To 


74 


IN   RETIREMENT   AT   BRISTOL. 


{Baniel 


side,  passing  tlirough  the  Bristol  streets/  But  no  time 
was  lost  with.  De  Foe,  whether  he  was  watched  by  baiHffs, 
or  laid  hold  of  by  their  betters.  He  wrote,  in  his  present 
retirement,  that  famous  Essay  which  went  far  to  form 
the  intellect  and  direct  the  pursuits  of  the  most  clear  and 
practical  genius  of  the  succeeding  century.  ^'  There  was 
'^  also,"  says  Benjamin  Franklin,  describing  the  little 
library  in  his  uncle's  house,  "  a  book  of  De  Foe's  called 
"  an  Essay  on  Projects,  which  perhaps  gave  me  a  turn  of 
"  thinking  that  had  an  influence  on  some  of  the  principal 
"  future  events  of  my  life." 

De  Foe  composed  the  Essay  here,  in  Bristol ;  though 
it  was  not  published  until  two  years  later.     What  the 


^  I  give  what  is  said  by  Mr.  Wil- 
son, because  of  the  oddity  of  its 
conclusion,  and  the  manifest  con- . 
fusion  of  ideas  involved  in  it  : — ■ 
* '  A  friend  informs  me  of  a  tradi- 
"  tion  in  his  family,  that  rather 
"countenances  this  supposition" 
(of  De  Foe's  retreat  to  Bristol). 
'*  He  says,  that  one  of  his  ancestors 
*  *  remembered  De  Foe,  and  some- 
*'  times  saw  him  walking  in  the 
*'  streets  of  Bristol,  accoutred  in 
*'  the  fashion  of  the  times,  with  a 
"  fine  flowing  wig,  lace  ruffles,  and 
"  a  sword  by  his  side.  Also,  that 
'*  he  there  obtained  the  name  of  the 
*'  'Sunday  Gentleman,'  because, 
*'  through  fear  of  the  bailiffs,  he 
**  did  not  dare  to  appear  in  public 
*'  upon  any  other  day.  The  fact  of 
'*  De  Foe's  residence  in  Bristol, 
**  either  at  this  or  some  later  period 
"  of  his  life,  is  further  corrobo- 
**  rated  by  the  following  circum- 
* '  stance.  About  a  century  ago,  as 
*'  the  same  friend  informs  me,  there 
"  was  a  tavern  in  Castle-street, 
• '  known  by  the  sign  of  the  Red 
*'  Lion,  and  kept  by  one  Mark 
*'  Watkins,  an  intelligent  man,  who 
"  had  been  in  better  circumstances. 
*•  His  house  was  in  considerable 
*'  repute  amongst  the  tradesmen  of 
**  Bristol,  who  were  in  the  habit  of 
**  resorting  there  after  dinner,  for 
*'  the  purpose  of  smoking  their 
**  pipes,  and  hearing  the  news  of 


*  the  day.  De  Foe,  following  the 
'  custom  of  the  times,  occasionally 
'  mixed  with  them  at  these  seasons, 
'  and  was  well  known  to  the  land- 
'  lord  under  the  same  name  of  the 
'  '  Sunday  Gentleman.'  The  house 
'  is  still  standing,   and  is  now  a 

*  mere  pot-house.  The  same  Mark 
'  Watkins,  it  is  said,  used  to  en- 
'  tertain   his   company,    in    after- 

*  times,  with  an  account  of  a  sin- 
'  gular  personage  who  made  his 
'  appearance  in  Bristol,  clothed  in 
'  goat-skins,  in  which  dress  he  was 
'  in  the  habit  of  walking  the  streets 
'  and  went  by  the  name  of  Alex- 
'  ander  Selkirk,  or  Eobinson  Cru- 
'  soe."     In  other  words,  Mr.  Mark 

Watkins  had  lived  till  Robinson 
Crusoe  was  published,  and  then,  in 
his  old  age,  with  his  wits  not  the 
clearer  for  all  those  years  of  ale 
and  pipe,  was  apt,  in  still  dwelling 
on  his  recollections  of  the  Sunday 
Gentleman,  to  confound  his  quon- 
dam guest  with  the  hardly  less 
veritable  creation  of  his  fancy,  and 
to  substitute  the  immortal  mariner 
for  the  mortal  De  Foe  !  [This  sug- 
gestion has  been  disputed  by  an 
acute  writer  in  the  Times,  who 
points  out  the  possibility  of  the 
real  Selkirk  having  been  actually 
seen  in  the  flesh  by  the  jovial  land- 
lord, on  his  being  brought  to  Bristol 
by  Captain  Woodes-Rogers.   I860.] 


De  Foe.'\     writing  the  essay  on  projects.  75 

tendency  of  the  age  would  surely  be  (partly  by  tbe 
influence  of  the  Revolution,  for  commerce  and  religious 
freedom  have  ever  prospered  together  ;  partly  by  the 
financial  necessities  of  the  war,  and  the  impulse  thereby 
given  to  projects  and  adventure),  he  had  promptly  dis- 
cerned ;  and  he  would  have  turned  it  to  profitable  uses  in 
this  most  shrewd,  wise,  and  memorable  piece  of  writing. 
It  suggested  reforms  in  the  System  of  Banking,  and  a  plan 
for  Central  Country  Banks  ;  it  pointed  out  the  enormous 
advantages  of  an  efiicient  improvement  of  the  Public 
Eoads,  as  a  source  of  public  benefit  and  revenue;  it 
recommended,  for  the  safety  of  trade,  a  mitigation  of  the 
law  against  the  honest  Bankrupt,  and  a  more  effectual 
law  against  practised  knavery ;  it  proposed  the  general 
establishment  of  Offices  for  Insurance,  "  in  every  case 
*'  of  risk ;  "  it  impressively  enforced  the  expediency  of 
Friendly  Societies,  and  of  a  kind  of  Savings  Bank,  among 
the  poor ;  and,  with  eloquence  and  clear-sightedness  far 
in  advance  of  the  time,  it  urged  the  solemn  necessity  of  a 
greater  care  of  Lunatics,  which  it  described  as  "  a  par- 
*'  ticular  rent-charge  on  the  great  family  of  mankind." 

A  man  may  afford  to  live  Alone  who  can  make  solitude 
eloquent  with  such  designs  as  these.  What  a  teeming 
life  there  is  in  them ! — what  a  pregnant  power  and 
wisdom,  thrown  broad-cast  over  the  fields  of  the  future  ! 
To  this  banlo-upt  fugitive,  to  this  Sunday  Gentleman  and 
every- day  earnest  workman,  mth  no  better  prospect  than 
a  bailiff  visible  from  his  guarded  window,  it  might  not  be 
ill  done,  as  it  seems  to  us,  to  transfer  some  part  of  the 
honour  and  glory  we  too  freely  assign  to  more  prosperous 
actors  in  the  busy  period  of  the  Revolution.  Could  we 
move  to  London  from  the  side  of  our  hero,  by  the  four 
days'  Bristol  coach,  it  would  be  but  a  paltry  scene  that 
awaited  us  there.  He  has  himself  described  it.  "  Is  a 
"  man  trusted,  and  then  made  a  lord  ?  Is  he  loaded 
"  with  honours,  and  put  into  places  ?  Has  he  the  King's 
"  ear  ?  and  does  he  eat  his  bread  ?  Then,  expect  he 
"  shall  be  one  of  the  first  to  fly  in  his  face !  "  Such 
indeed,  and  no  other,  would  be  the  scene  presented  to  us. 
AYe  should  find  the  great  Sovereign  obliged  to  repose  his 
trust  where  no  man  could  trust  with  safety  ;  and  the  first 
rank  growth  of  the  new-gotten  Liberty  would  greet  us  in 


76  PROPOSED   ACADEMY   OF   LETTERS.  [Daniel 

its  most  repulsive  forms.  We  should  see,  there,  the 
double  game  of  treachery,  to  the  reigning  and  to  the 
banished  sovereign,  played  out  with  unscrupulous  perfidy 
by  rival  statesmen ;  Opposition  and  Office  but  varying 
the  sides  of  treason,  from  WilHam  to  James.  There 
would  be  the  versatile  Halifax,  receiving  a  Jacobite  agent 
"  with  open  arms."  There  would  be  the  dry,  reserved 
Godolphin,  engaged  in  double  service,  though  without  a 
single  bribe,  to  his  actual  and  to  his  lawful  sovereign. 
There  would  be  the  soldier  Churchill,  paid  by  WilHam,  yet 
taking  secret  gold  from  James,  and  tarnishing  his  im- 
perishable name  with  an  infamous  treachery  to  England. 
And  all^  this,  wholly  unredeemed  by  the  wit  and  litera- 
ture which  graced  the  years  of  noisy  faction  to  which  it 
was  the  prelude.  As  yet.  Pope  was  in  the  cradle, 
Addison  and  Steele  were  at  Charter  House,  Henry  St. 
John  was  reading  Greek  at  Christ  Church,  and  Swift  was 
amanuensis  in  Sir  William  Temple's  house,  for  his  board 
and  twenty  pounds  a-year.  Nor  does  any  sign  in  the 
present  give  hope  of  such  a  future.  The  laureateship  of 
Dryden  has  fallen  on  Shadwell,  even  Garth's  Dispensary 
has  not  yet  been  written,  Mr.  Tate  and  Mr.  Brady  are 
dividing  the  town,  the  noble  accents  of  Locke  on  behalf 
of  toleration  are  inaudible  in  the  press,  but  Sir  Eichard 
Blackmore  prepares  his  Epics,  and  Bishop  Burnet  sits 
down  in  a  terrible  passion  to  write  somebody's  character 
in  his  History.  We  may  be  well  content  to  return  to 
Bristol,  and  take  humbler  part  with  the  fortunes  of  Daniel 
De  Foe. 

We  have  not  recounted  all  the  projects  of  his  Essay. 
The  great  design  of  Education  was  embraced  in  it,  and  a 
furtherance  of  the  interest  of  Letters.  It  proposed  an 
Academy,  on  the  plan  of  that  founded  in  France  by 
Eichelieu,  to  "  encourage  polite  learning,  establish  purity 
"  of  style,  and  advance  the  so  much  neglected  faculty  of 
"  correct  language ;  " — urging  upon  William,  how  worthy 
of  his  high  destiny  it  would  be  to  ecKpse  Louis  Quatorze 
in  the  peaceful  arts,  as  much  as  he  had  eclipsed  him  in 
the  field  of  battle.  The  proposition  was  revived,  a  few 
years  later,  in  Prior's  Carmen  Seculare;  and  in  1711, 
Swift  stole  the  entire  notion,  and  almost  the  very  language 
of  De  Foe,  in  his  attempt  (curious  as  the  only  printed 


De  Foe.l   college  for  education  of  women.  77 

piece  to  which,  he  ever,  himself,  attached  his  name)  "  to 
"  erect  some  kind  of  society  or  academy,  under  the 
"  patronage  of  the  ministers,  and  protection  of  the  Queen, 
"  for  correcting,  enlarging,  polishing,  and  fixing  our 
"  language."  Nor  let  us  omit  recital  of  the  Military 
College  which  De  Foe  would  have  raised  ;  of  his  project 
for  the  Abolition  of  Impressment ;  and  of  his  College  for 
the  Education  of  Women.  His  rare  and  high  opinion  of 
women  had  given  him  a  just  contempt  for  the  female 
training  of  his  time.  He  could  not  think,  he  said,  that 
Grod  ever  made  them  so  delicate,  so  glorious  creatures,  to 
be  only  stewards  of  our  houses,  our  cooks,  and  slaves.  "  A 
"  woman  well-bred  and  well-taught,  furnished  with  the 
*'  additional  accomplishments  of  knowledge  and  behaviour, 
"  is  a  creature  without  comparison.  Her  society  is  the 
"  emblem  of  sublimer  enjoyments ;  she  is  all  softness 
"  and  sweetness,  love,  wit,  and  delight."  This  pleasant 
passage  might  have  been  written  by  Steele. 

His   Bristol   exile  was   now  closed,   by  the   desired 
arrangement  with  his  creditors.     They  consented  to  com- 
pound his  liabilities  for  five  thousand  pounds,  and  to  take 
his  personal  security  for  the  payment.     In  what  way  he 
discharged  this  claim,  and  what  reward  they  had  who 
trusted  him,  an  anecdote  of  thirteen  years'  later  date  (set 
down  in  the  book  of  an  enemy)  will  tell.     While  the 
quid-nuncs  of  the  cofi'ee-houses  raged  against  him  at  the 
opening  of  the  reign  of  Anne,  a  knot   of  intemperate 
assailants  in  one  of  them  were  suddenly  interrupted  by 
a  person  who  sat  at  a  table  apart  from  theirs.     "  Come, 
"  gentlemen,"  he  said,  "  let  us  do  justice.     I  know  this 
"  De  Foe  as  well  as  any  of  you.     I  was  one  of  his  cre- 
"  ditors ;    compounded  with   him,    and   discharged  him 
"  fully.     Years  afterwards  he  sent  for  me  ;  and  though 
"  he  was  clearly  discharged,  he  paid  me  all  the  remainder 
"  of  his  debt  voluntarily,  and  of  his  own  accord  ;  and  he 
"  told  me,  that,  so  far  as  God  should  enable  him,  he 
"  meant  to  do  so  with  every  body."     The  man  added, 
that  he  had  placed  his  signature  to  a  paper  of  acknow- 
ledgment, after  a  long  list  of  other  names.     Of  many 
witnesses  to  the  same  efiect,  only  one  other  need  be  cited. 
Four  years  later,  when  the  House  of  Lords  had  been  the 
scene  of  a  libel  against  him  worse  than  that  of.the  cofi'ee- 


/X^   OP  TH«*^^^t 


78  HONOUR   AND   ADVENTURE    IN   TRADE.      \Daniel 

house  disputants,  but  with,  no  one  to  interrupt  or  put  the 
libeller  to  shame,  De  Foe  himself  made  an  unpretending 
pubhc  statement,  to  the  effect  that  the  sums  he  had  at 
that  time  discharged  of  his  own  mere  motion,  without 
obligation,  "  with  a  numerous  family,  and  no  help  but 
"  his  own  industry,"  amounted  to  upwards  of  twelve 
thousand  pounds.  Not  as  a  matter  of  pride  did  he  state 
this,  but  to  intimate  that  he  had  not  failed  in  duty. 
The  discharge  of  law  could  not  discharge  the  conscience. 
The  obligation  of  an  honest  mind,  he  said,  can  never 
die. 

He  did  not  return  to  Freeman's-court.  He  had  other 
views.  Some  foreign  merchants,  by  whom  he  was  held 
in  high  esteem,  desired  to  settle  him  as  a  large  factor  in 
Cadiz ;  but  he  could  not  be  induced  to  leave  England. 
It  was  his  secret  hope  to  be  able  to  serve  the  King.  Nor 
had  many  months  passed  before  we  find  him  "  concerned 
"  with  some  eminent  persons  at  home,"  in  proposing 
ways  and  means  to  the  government  for  raising  money  to 
supply  the  occasions  of  the  war.  Resulting  in  some  sort 
from  this  employment,  seems  to  have  been  the  office 
which  he  held  for  four  years  (till  the  determination  of  the 
commission,  1694 — 1699),  of  Accountant  to  the  Commis- 
sioners of  the  Glass  Duty.^  And,  not  unnaturally,  one 
may  suppose  it  to  be  not  distantly  a  part  of  the  same 
desire  to  draw  round  him  a  certain  association  with  the 
interests  and  fortunes  of  his  sovereign,  that  he  also  at 
this  time  undertook  a  large  adventure  in  the  making  of 
what  were  called  Dutch  pantiles.  He  established  exten- 
sive tile-kiln  and  brick-kiln  works  at  Tilbury,  on  the 
Thames ;  where  it  was  his  boast  to  have  given,  for  several 
years,  employment  "to  more  than  a  hundred  poor 
"  workmen."  He  took  a  house,  too,  by  the  side  of  the 
river,  and  amused  himself  with  a  saihng  boat  he  kept 
there.^ 

^  He  dedicates  his  Essay  on  Pro-  "  treated  of,  and  more  capable 
jects  to  Dal  by  Thomas,  "not,"  he  ''than  the  greatest  part  of  man- 
tells  him,  "  as  commissioner  under  *'  kind  to  distinguish  and  under- 
**  whom  I  have  the  honour  to  serve  '*  stand  them."  Dal  by  Thomas, 
**  his  Majesty,  nor  as  a  friend,  afterwards  Sir  Dalby,  was  a  great 
**  though  I  have  great  obligations  of  West  India  merchant  of  the  time. 
"  that  sort  also  ;  but  as  the  most  -  I  quote  one  of  his  many  anec- 
*'  proper   judge    of    the    subjects  dotes  of  this  river-side  life,  for  the 


De  Foe.'j  river-side  life. 


79 


We  fancy  him  now,  not  seldom,  among  the  rude, 
daring  men,  who  made  the  shore  of  the  great  London 
river,  in  those  days,  a  place  of  danger  and  romance — 
"  Friends  of  the  sea,  and  foes  of  all  that  live  on  it." 
He  knew,  it  is  certain,  the  Kyds  as  well  as  the  Dampiers 
of  that  boisterous,  adventurous,  bucaniering,  Ocean  breed. 
"With  no  violent  effort,  we  now  imagine  him  fortifying 
his  own  resolution,  and  contempt  of  danger,  by  theirs ; 
looking,  through  their  rough  and  reckless  souls,  face  to 
face  with  that  appalling  courage  they  inherited  from 
the  vikings  and  sea- conquerors  of  old  ;  listening  to  their 
risks  and  wanderings  for  a  theme  of  robust  example, 
some  day,  to  reading  landsmen ;  and  already,  it  may  be, 
throwing  forward  his  pleased  and  stirred  imagination 
into  solitary  wildernesses  and  desert  islands, 

"  Placed  far  amid  the  melancholy  main." 

But,  for  the  present,  he  turns  back  with  a  more  prac- 
tical and  earnest  interest  to  the  solitary  resident  at  St. 
James's.  It  will  not  be  too  much  to  say,  that,  at  this 
moment,  the  most  unpopular  man  in  England  was  the 
man  who  had  saved  England.  The  pensioner  of  France, 
the  murderer  of  Sydney  and  Yane,  had  more  homage  and 

sake  of  the  fact  it  records  in  natu-  "  the  river  just  at  that  time,  and 

ral  history.     He  is  speaking  of  the  "  I  believe  near  two  pecks  of  them 

period  at  which   the  ant  becomes  *'  fell  into  the  boat.     They  fell  so 

furnished  with  wings,  as  if  it  were  * '  thick,  that  I  believe  my  hatful 

a  direction  to  change  its  habitation.  * '  came   down   the   funnel   of   two 

"Being    thus    equipped,  'they   fly  "chimneys   in    my  house,    which 

**  away  in  great  multitudes,   seek-  *'  stood  near  the  river's  edge  ;  and 

**  ing    new    habitations,    and,    not  "  in   proportion   to  this  quantity, 

"  being  well  practised  in  the  use  of  "  they  fell  for  the  space,  as  I  could 

"their   wings,    they   grow  weary,  "  observe,  of  half  a  mile  in  breadth 

"and,  pressing  one  another  do^vn  "at  least:    some  workmen  I  em- 

"  by  their  own  weiglit,  when  they  "  ployed  there    said    they    spread 

"begin   to   tire   they  fall   like    a  "  two  miles,  but  then  they  fell  not 

"  shower.     I  once  knew  a  flight  of  "  so  thick,  and  they  continued  fall- 

"  these  ants  come  over  the  marshes  "ing  for  near  three  miles.     Any 

"  from  Essex,  in  a  most  prodigious  "  body  will  imagine  the  quantity 

* '  quantity,     like    a    black    cloud.  ' '  thus  collected  together  must  be 

"  They  began  to  fall  about  a  mile  "  prodigious  ;    but,   if  again   they 

"  before  they  came  to  the  Thames,  "will    observe    the   multitude    of 

"  and  in  flying  over  the  river,  they  "  these  ant-hills,  and  the  millions 

"  fell  so  thick  that  the  water  was  "  of  creatures  to  be  seen  in  them, 

"  covered  with  them.     I  had  two  "  they  will  cease  to  wonder." 
"  servants  rowing  a  small  boat  over 


80  INGRATITUDE   TO   THE   DELIVERER.        \_Damel 

respect  for  lounging  about  with  his  spaniels,  and  feeding 
the  ducks  in  St.  James's  Park,  than  was  ever  attained  by 
him  who  had  rescued  and  exalted  two  great  countries, 
to  whom  the  depressed  Protestant  interest  throughout 
the  world  owed  its  renovated  hope  and  strength,  and 
who  had  gloriously  disputed  Europe  with  Louis  the 
Fourteenth. 

Yes !  this  was  the  man  whom  the  most  powerful  in 
England  were  now  combined  to  harass  and  oppose  ;  whom 
they  reproached  with  the  very  services  he  had  rendered 
them ;  whom  they  insulted  by  the  baseness  of  their  in- 
trigues against  him ;  in  whose  face,  to  use  the  striking 
expression  employed  by  De  Foe,  they  flung  the  filth  of 
their  own  passions.     "  I  confess,"  he  exclaimed  with  an 
irrepressible  and  noble  indignation,  "  my  blood  boils  at  the 
"  thought  of  it !     Prodigious  ingratitude  !     Canst  thou 
"  not,  0  man  !  be  content  to  be  advanced  without  merit, 
"  but  thou  must  repine  at  them  that  have  merit  without 
"  reward  ?     You  helped  to  make  him  king,  you  helped  to 
"  save  your  country  and  ruin  him,  you  helped  to  recover 
*'  your  own  liberties  and  those  of  your  posterity,  and  now 
*'  you  claim  rewards  from  him !     Has  he  not  rewarded 
"  you,  by  sacrificing  his  peace,  his  comfort,  his  fortune, 
"  and  his  country  to  support  you  ?    As  a  prince,  how  great 
"  he  was — how  splendid,  how  happy,  how  rich,  how  easy, 
"  and  how  justly  valued  both  by  friends  and  enemies ! 
"  He  lived  in  the  field  glorious,  feared  by  the  enemies  of 
*'  his  country,  loved  by  the  soldiery,  having  a  vast  inherit- 
"  ance  of  his  own,  governor  of  a  rich  State,  blessed  with 
''  the  best  of  consorts,  and,  as  far  as  this  life  could  give, 
"  completely  happy.    Compare  this  with  the  gaudy  crown 
"  you  gave  him,  which,  had  a  visible  scheme  been  laid 
"  with  it  of  all  its  uneasinesses,  dangers,  crosses,  disap- 
*'  pointments,  and  dark  prospects,  no  wise  man  would 
"  have  taken  ofi"  the  dunghill,  or  come  out  of  jail  to  be 
"  master  of.    His  perils  have  been  your  safety,  his  labours 
"  your  ease,  his  cares  your  comfort,  his  continued  harass- 
*'  ing  and  fatigue  your  continued  calm  and  tranquillity. 
*'  When  you  sit  down  to  eat,  why  have  you  not  soldiers 
"  quartered  in  your  houses,  to  command  your  servants 
"  and  insult  your  tables  ?     It  is  because  King  William 
"  subjected  the  military  to  the  civil  authority,  and  made 


Be  Foe.']   tribute  to  wt:lliam  the  third.  81 

"  the  sword  of  justice  triumph  over  the  sword  of  war, 
"  When  you  lie  down  at  night,  why  do  you  not  bolt  and 
"  bar  your  chamber,  to  defend  the  chastity  of  your  wives 
''  and  daughters  from  the  ungoverned  lust  of  raging 
"  mercenaries  ?  It  is  because  King  William  restored  the 
"  sovereignty  and  dominion  of  the  laws,  and  made  the 
"  red-coat  world  servants  to  them  that  paid  them.  When 
"  you  receive  your  rents,  why  are  not  arbitrary  defalca-. 
"  tions  made  upon  your  tenants,  arbitrary  imposts  laid 
"  upon  your  commerce,  and  oppressive  taxes  levied  upon 
"  your  estates,  to  support  the  tyranny  that  demands  them 
"  and  make  your  bondage  strong  at  your  own  expense  ? 
"  It  is  because  King  William  re-established  the  essential 
"  security  of  your  properties,  and  put  you  in  that  happy 
"  condition  which  few  nations  enjoy,  of  calling  your  souls 
"  your  own.  How  came  you  by  a  parliament,  to  balance 
"  between  the  governed  and  the  governing,  but  upon  King 
"  Wilham's  exalting  liberty  upon  the  ruin  of  oppression  ? 
"  How  came  you  to  have  power  to  abuse  your  deliverer, 
"  but  by  the  very  deliverance  he  wrought  for  you  ?  He 
*'  supported  you  in  those  privileges  you  ungratefully 
"  bullied  him  mth,  and  gave  you  the  liberty  you  took  to 
*'  insult  him  !  " 

Such  was  De  Foe's  living  and  lofty  appeal  against  the 
assailants  and  detractors  of  our  great  King ;  and,  after 
proof  and  trial  of  nearly  two  centuries,  how  small  is  the 
exception  to  be  taken  to  its  warmth  of  generous  partizan- 
ship  !  If  we  see  here  and  there  a  defect  which  was  not 
visible  to  him,  is  there  a  greatness  he  commemorates 
which  we  do  not  also  see,  indelibly  written  in  our  English 
history?  We  may  be  far  from  thinking  William  a  faiolt- 
less  Prince :  but  what  to  Princes  who  have  since  reigned 
has  been  a  plain  and  beaten  path,  was  rendered  so  by  his 
experience  and  example ;  and  our  wonder  should  be,  not 
that  he  stumbled,  but  that  he  was  able  to  walk  at  all  in 
the  dark  and  thorny  road  he  travelled.'  He  undertook 
the  vexed,  and  till  then  unsolved,  problem  of  Consti- 
tutional Government ;  but  he  came  to  rule  as  a  monarch, 
and  not  as  a  party  chief.     He,  whom  foolish  bigots  libel 

^  Since  the  date  of  this  Essay,       racter  and  memory  of  William  the 
Lord  Macaulay's  History  has  paid       Third, 
its  magnificent  tribute  to  the  cha- 


82  WHIG  AND  TORY  FACTION^.  \_Daniel 

witli  their  admiration,  came  to  unite,  and  not  to  separate ; 
to  tolerate,  and  not  to  persecute ;  to  govern  one  people, 
and  not  to  raise  and  depress  alternate  classes.  Of  the 
many  thousand  churchmen  who  had  been  preaching 
passive  obedience  before  his  arrival,  only  four  hundred 
refused  to  acknowledge  his  government  of  active  resistance; 
but  he  lived  to  find  those  four  hundred  his  most  honour- 
able foes.  From  the  very  heart  of  the  councils  that  sur- 
rounded his  throne,  arose  the  worst  treason  against  him. 
His  Church  overthrew  him  in  his  first  attempt  to  legislate 
in  a  spirit  of  equal  religious  justice.  His  Whig  ministers 
withdrew  from  him  what  they  thought  an  unjust  preroga- 
tive, because  they  had  given  him  what  they  thought  a 
just  title.  His  Tory  opposition  refused  him  what  they 
counted  a  just  prerogative,  on  the  ground  of  what  they 
held  to  be  an  unjust  title.  Tories  joined  with  Whigs 
against  a  standing  army,  and  Whigs  joined  with  Tories 
against  a  larger  toleration.  "I  can  see  no  difi'erence 
"  between  them,"  said  William  to  the  elder  Halifax,  "  but 
"  that  the  Tories  would  cut  my  throat  in  the  morning, 
"  and  the  Whigs  in  the  afternoon." 

And  yet  there  was  a  difference.  The  Whigs  would 
have  given  him  more  than  that  "  longer  day."  In  the 
Tory  ranks  there  was  no  public  character  so  pure  as  that 
of  Somers ;  the  high-church  Bishops  could  show  at 
least  no  intellect  equal  to  Burnet's ;  among  the  Tory 
financiers,  there  was  no  such  clear  accomplishment  and 
wit  as  those  of  Charles  Montagu,  the  later  Halifax.  Nor, 
even  when  with  all  his  heats  of  advocacy  he  flung  him- 
self into  the  struggle  on  the  King's  behalf,  did  De  Foe 
omit  to  remember  this.  In  all  his  writings  he  failed  not 
to  enforce  it.  When  he  most  grieved  that  there  should 
be  union  to  exact  from  the  Deliverer  of  England  what 
none  had  ever  thought  of  exacting  from  her  Enslavers,  it 
was  that  men  so  difi'erent  should  compose  it.  When  he 
supported  a  moderate  standing  army  against  the  Whigs, 
it  was  with  a  Whig  reason ;  that  "  not  the  King,  but  the 
''  sword  of  England  in  the  hand  of  the  King,  should 
*'  secure  peace  and  religious  freedom."  When  he  opposed 
a  narrow  civil  list  against  the  Whigs,  it  was  with  no 
Tory  reason ;  but  because  "  the  King  had  wasted  his  own 
"  patrimony  in   a   war  undertaken  for  the  defence  of 


De  FGe.~\    a  meeting  at  hampton  court.  83" 

"  religion  and  liberty/'  Nay,  wlien  lie  opposed  the  King 
himself,  in  his  Reasons  against  a  War  mith  France,  it  was 
on  a  ground  which  enabled  the  Whigs,  soon  after,  to 
direct  and  prosecute  the  mighty  struggle  which  for  ever 
broke  the  tyranny  and  supremacy  of  France.  *'He  that 
"  desires  we  shoul-d  end  the  war  honorably,  ought  to 
"  desire  also  that  we  begin  it  fairly.  Natural  antipathies 
"  are  no  just  ground  of  a  war  against  nations;  neither  are 
"  popular  opinions :  nor  is  every  invasion  of  a  right  a 
"  good  reason  for  war,  until  redress  has  first  been  peaceably 
"  demanded." 

If  William  was  to  find  himself  again  reconciled  to  the 
Whigs,  it  would  be  by  the  influence  of  such  Whiggery 
as  this.  Indeed,  it  soon  became  apparent  to  him,  even 
in  the  midst  of  general  treachery,  by  which  of  the  traitors 
he  could  most  ef&ciently  be  served;  and  when,  being 
made  aware  of  the  Jacobite  correspondences  of  the  Whig 
Duke  of  Shrewsbury,  he  sent  him  a  Colonel  of  Guards 
with  the  seals  of  office  in  one  hand  and  a  warrant  of 
treason  in  the  other,  to  give  him  his  choice  of  the 
Cabinet  or  the  Tower,  he  but  translated,  in  his  decisive 
fearless  way,  the  shrewd  practical  counsel  of  Daniel 
De  Foe. 

That  this  merchant  financier  and  speculator,  this  warm, 
jret  wary  advocate,  this  sagacious  politician,  this  homely 
earnest  man  of  business,  should  early  have  made  his 
value  known  to  such  a  sovereign,  we  cannot  doubt.  It 
was  not  till  a  later  service,  indeed,  that  the  private 
cabinet  of  William  was  open  to  him;  but,  before  the- 
Queen's  death  it  is  certain  he  had  access  to  the  palace, 
and  that  Mary  had  consulted  him  in  her  favourite  task 
of  laying  out  Hampton  Court  gardens.  It  is,  to  us,  very 
pleasing  to  contemplate  the  meeting  of  such  a  sovereign 
and  such  a  subject,  as  William  and  De  Foe.  There  was 
something  not  dissimilar  in  their  physical  aspect,  as  in 
their  moral  temperament  resemblances  undoubtedly  ex- 
isted. The  King  was  the  elder  by  ten  years  ^  but  the 
middle  size,  the  spare  figure,  the  hooked  nose,,  the  sharp 
chin,  the  keen  grey  eye,  the  large  forehead^  and  grave 
appearance,  were  common  to  both.  William's  manner 
was  cold,  except  in  battle  ;  and  little  warmth  was  ascribed 
to  De  Foe's,  unless  he  spoke  of  civil  liberty.   There  would 

G  2 


84  SOVEREIGN  AND  SUBJECT.  \_Damel 

be  little  recognition  of  Literature  on  either  hand,  yet 
nothing  looked  for  that  was  not  amply  given.  When  the 
Stadtholder,  in  his  practical  way,  complimented  St  Evre- 
mont  on  having  been  a  major-general  in  France,  the 
dandy  man  of  letters  took  offence ;  but,  if  the  King  merely 
spoke  to  De  Foe  as  one  who  had  borne  arms  with  Mon- 
mouth, we  will  answer  for  it  there  was  no  disappointed 
vanity.  Here,  in  a  word,  was  profound  good  sense  on 
both  sides  ;  substantial  scorn  of  the  fine  and  the  roman- 
tic ;  impassive  firmness  ;  a  good  broad,  buffeting  style  of 
procedure ;  and  dauntless  force  of  character, — a  King  who 
ruled  by  popular  choice,  and  a  Subject  who  represented 
that  choice  without  a  tinge  of  faction. 

Of  how  few  then  living  but  De  Foe,  might  that  last 
remark  be  made  !  Of  how  few,  even  of  the  best  "Whigs, 
was  it  true  that  their  Whiggism  found  no  support  in 
personal  spite  !  At  this  very  time,  old  Dryden  could  but 
weep  when  he  thought  of  Prior  and  Charles  Montagu 
("  for  two  young  fellows  I  have  always  been  civil  to,  to 
"  use  an  old  man  in  so  cruel  a  manner'')  :  but  De  Foe, 
even  while  assailing  the  licence  of  the  stage,  spoke 
respectfully  of  Dryden,  and,  when  condemning  his 
changes  of  belief  in  later  years,  made  admission  of  his 
^'  extraordinary  genius."  At  this"  time  Prior,  so  soon  to 
become  a  Jacobite,  was  writing  to  Montagu  that  he  had 
"  faced  old  James  and  all  his  court,  the  other  day,  at 
"  St.  Cloud ;  vive  Guillaume  I  You  never  saw  such  a 
*'  strange  figure  as  the  old  bully  is ;  lean,  worn,  and 
^^  riv'led : "  but  De  Foe,  in  the  publication  wherein  he 
most  had  exalted  William,  had  also  described  with  his 
most  manly  pathos  James's  personal  maltreatment  and 
desertion. 

We  repeat  that  the  great  sovereign  would  find,  in  such 
a  spirit  as  this,  the  nearest  resemblance  to  his  own ;  and, 
it  may  be,  the  best  ultimate  corrective  of  that  weary  im- 
patience of  the  Factions  which  made  his  English  sove- 
reignty so  hard  a  burden.  It  was  better  discipline,  on 
the  whole,  than  he  had  from  his  old  friend  Sir  William 
Temple,  whom,  on  his  difficulty  with  the  ultra-factious 
Triennial  bill,  he  went  to  Moor  Park  to  consult :  when 
the  wary  diplomatist  could  but  set  his  Irish  amanuensis, 
Mr.  Jonathan  Swift,  to  draw  up  wise  precedents  for  the 


De  Foe,']    settlement  of  the  revolution.  85 

monarch's  quiet  digestion  of  the  bill,  Whigs,  Tories,  and 
all ;  and  the  monarch  could  but  drily  express  his  thanks 
to  Mr.  Swift,  by  teaching  him  to  digest  asparagus,  against 
all  precedent,  by  swallowing  stalks  and  all. 

Those  great  questions  of  Triennial  bill,  of  Treason  bill, 
of  Settlement  Securities  bill,  whether  dictated  by  wisdom 
or  by  faction,  we  need  touch  but  lightly  here.  All  worked 
wisely.  Urged  by  various  motives,  they  tended  yet  to  a 
common  end.  Silently,  steadily,  securely,  while  the  roar 
of  dispute  and  discontent  swelled  and  raged  above,  the 
soKd  principles  of  the  Revolution  were  rooting  themselves 
deep  in  the  soil  below.  The  Censorship  of  the  Press  ex- 
pired in  1694  ;  no  man  in  the  State  was  found  to  suggest 
its  renewal ;  and  it  passed  away  for  ever.  ^Yhat,  before, 
it  had  been  the  interest  of  government  to  impeach,  it  was 
now  its  interest  to  maintain ;  what  the  Tories  formerly 
would  have  checked  in  the  power  of  the  House  of  Com- 
mons, their  interests  now  compelled  them  to  extend.  All 
became  committed  to  the  principle  of  Resistance ;  and, 
whether  for  party  or  for  patriotism,  Liberty  was  the  cry 
of  all.  De  Foe  turned  aside  from  politics,  when  their 
aspect  seemed  for  a  time  less  virulent ;  and  applied  him- 
self to  what  is  always  of  intimate  connection  with  them, 
and  of  import  yet  more  momentous, — the  moral  aspects  of 
the  time. 

We  do  not,  however,  think  that  he  always  penetrated 
with  success  to  the  heart  of  a  moral  question.  He  was 
somewhat  obstructed,  at  the  threshold,  by  the  formal  and 
limited  points  of  Presbyterian  breeding ;  and  there  were 
depths  in  morals  and  in  moral  causes,  which  undoubtedly 
he  never  sounded.  Even  the  more  practical  and  earnest 
features  of  his  character  had  in  this  respect  brought  their 
disadvantages  ;  and,  on  some  points,  stopped  him  short 
of  that  highest  reach  and  grace  of  intellect,  which  in  a 
consummate  sense  constitutes  the  ideal,  and  takes  leave 
of  the  merely  shrewd,  solid,  acute,  and  palpable.  The 
god  of  reality  and  matter-of-fact,  is  not  always  in  these 
things  a  divine  god.  But  there  was  a  manliness  and 
courage  well  worthy  of  him  in  the  general  tone  he  took, 
and  the  game  at  which  he  flew.  He  represented  in  his 
Essay,  the  Poor  Man ;  and  his  object  was  to  show  that 
Acts  of  ParHament  were  useless,  which  enabled  those  who 


86  SOCIAL   AND    SECTARIAN    QUESTIONS.       \_Daniel 

administered  tliem  to  pass  over  in  their  own  class  what 
they  punished  in  classes  below  them.  He  arraigned  that 
tendency  of  English  legislation,  which  afterwards  passed 
into  a  proverb,  to  '^  punish  men  for  being  poor."  Abun- 
dant were  the  penalties,  he  admitted,  against  vtcious 
practices,  but,  severe  as  they  were,  they  were  all  of  cob- 
web structure,  in  which  only  the  small  flies  were  caught, 
while  the  great  ones  broke  through  ;  and  he  set  forth  a 
petition,  pregnant  with  sense  and  wit,  that  the  Stocks  and 
House  of  Correction  should  be  straightway  abolished, 
"  till  the  Nobility,  Gentry,  Justices  of  the  Peace,  and 
"  Clergy,  will  be  pleased  to  reform  their  own  manners." 
He  lived  in  an  age  of  Justice  Midases  and  Parson  Trul- 
libers,  and  he  assails  both  with  singular  bitterness. 
^'  The  Parson  preaches  a  thundering  sermon  against 
^^  drunkenness,  and  the  Justice  sets  my  poor  neighbour 
"  in  the  'stocks ;  and  I  am  Hke  to  be  much  the  better  for 
"  either,  when  I  know  that  this  same  Parson  and  this 
"  same  Justice  were  both  drunk  together  but  the  night 
*'  before." 

He  knows  little  of  De  Foe,  who  would  suspect  him  of 
a  class-prejudice  of  his  own  in  this.  When,  in  the  pre- 
sent year,  the  Presbyterian  Lord  Mayor,  going  in  his 
robes  and  chain  in  the  morning  to  the  church,  and  in  the 
afternoon  to  the  Pinner's-hall  meeting-house,  raised  a 
vehement  and  bitter  discussion  on  the  question  of  Occa- 
sional Conformity, — ardent  Dissenter  though  he  was,  De 
Foe  did  not  hesitate  to  take  part  with  the  Church.  He 
could  not  see,  he  said,  why  Sir  Humphrey  Edwin  should 
wish,  like  a  boy  upon  a  holiday,  to  display  his  fine  clothes 
at  either  church  or  meeting-house.  In  a  religious  view, 
he  thought  that  if  it  was  a  point  of  conscience  with  a 
Dissenter  not  to  conform  to  the  Established  Church,  he 
could  not  possibly  receive  a  dispensation  to  do  so  from 
the  mere  fact  of  his  holding  a  civic  office  ;  in  a  political 
view,  he  held  what  was  called  Occasional  Conformity 
to  be  a  surrender  of  the  dignity  and  independence  of 
Dissent,  likely  to  lead  to  larger  and  dangerous  conces- 
sions ;  and  he  maintained  these  opinions  with  great  force 
of  argument.  He  was  in  the  right ;  and  the  party  never 
forgave  him.  On  no  question,  no  matter  how  deeply 
affecting  their  common  interests,  could  the  Dissenters 


De  Foe.^         attack  upon  the  stage.  87 

afterwards  bring  themselves  to  act  cordially  with.  De  Foe. 
Pious  Presbyterian  ministers  took  his  moral  treatises  into 
their  pulpits  with  them,  cribbed  from  them,  preached 
upon  their  texts,  largely  quoted  them,  but  were  careful 
to  suppress  his  name. 

Another  point  of  attack  in  his  publications  on  the 
manners  of  his  time,  had  reference  to  the  Stage.  "With 
whatever  views  we  approach  the  consideration  of  this 
subject,  there  can  be  but  one  opinion  of  the  existing 
condition  of  the  theatres.  They  were  grossly  profligate. 
Since  that  year  after  the  Restoration  in  which  Mr. 
Evelyn  saw  the  performance  of  Hamlet^  and  had  reason 
to  note  that  "  the  old  plays  begin  to  disgust  this  refined 
"  age,  since  his  Majesty's  being  so  long  abroad,''  vice  had 
made  its  home  in  the  theatres.  Nor  had  any  check  been 
at  this  time  given  to  it.  The  severe  tone  of  William  Ill's 
Court  had  only  made  the  contrast  more  extreme.  Collier 
had  not  yet  published  his  Short  Vieic.  Burnet  had  not 
yet  Aviitten  that  volume  of  his  Own  Time  wherein  he 
described,  with  perhaps  more  truth  than  logic,  the  stage 
as  the  corrupter  of  the  town,  and  the  bad  people  of  the 
town  as  the  corrupters  of  the  stage  ;  and  proclaimed  it  a 
"  shame  to  our  nation  and  religion  to  see  the  stage  so 
"  reformed  in  France,  and  so  polluted  still  in  England." 
Neither  was  the  evil  merely  left  unrestrained ;  for  it  had 
lately  received  potent  assistance  from  the  unequalled  wit 
of  Congreve,  whose  Maskwell  and  Lady  Touchwood  were 
now  affecting  even  the  ladies  in  the  lobbies,  and  their 
male  attendants,  with  a  touch  of  shame.  Nevertheless, 
while  we  admit  his  excellent  intention,  we  cannot  think 
that  De  Foe  made  any  figure  in  the  argument.  He  many 
times  returned  to  it,  but  never  with  much  effect.  His 
objections  would  as  freely  have  applied  to  the  best-con-^ 
ducted  theatre.  Nor,  in  the  special  immoralities  assigned, 
had  he  hit  the  point  exactly.  To  bring  women  into  the 
performance  of  female  characters  was  a  decided  improve- 
ment. The  morals  of  Charles  the  Second's  age,  though 
openly  and  generally  worse,  were,  in  particular  respects, 
not  so  bad  as  those  of  James  the  First ;  neither  was  the 
stage  of  even  Wycherley  and  Etherege  so  deeply  immoral 
".-*,  that  of  Beaumont  and  Fletcher. 

:7e  do  not  know  if  the  Muses  resented,  in  De  Foe's 


88  VERSES   FUGITIVE    AND    PERMANENT.       [Daniel 

case,  this  unfriendliness  to  one  of  their  favourite  haunts ; 
but,  when  he  attempted  to  woo  them  on  his  account, 
they  answered  somewhat  coyly  to  his  call.  A  collection 
of  Fugitive  Yerses,  published  by  Dunton,  appeared  at 
this  time — "  made/'  says  the  eccentric  bookseller,  "  by 
"  the  chief  wits  of  the  age  ;  namely,  Mr.  Motteux,  Mr. 
"  De  Foe,  Mr.  Richardson,  and,  in  particular,  Mr.  Tate, 
"  now  poet'laureat."  (Swift  was  among  them,  too,  but 
not  important  enough  yet  to  be  named.)  Mr.  De  Foe's 
contribution  was,  "  The  character  of  Dr.  Annesley  by 
"  way  of  Elegy ;  "  and  we  must  confess,  of  this  elegiacal 
tribute  to  the  memory  of  his  old  Presbyterian  pastor, 
that  it  seems  to  us  rightly  named  Fugitive  ;  whether  we 
apply  the  word  actively  to  the  poetry  that  flies  away,  or 
passively  to  that  which  makes  the  reader  do  the  same. 
De  Foe  lost  a  part  of  his  strength,  his  facility,  and  his 
fancy,  when  he  wrote  in  verse.  Yet,  even  in  verse,  he 
made  a  lucky,  nervous  hit,  now  and  then  ;  and  the  best 
of  his  efforts  was  the  True-horn  Englishman. 

It  appeared  in  1701.  It  was  directed  against  the  un- 
relenting and  bitter  attacks  from  which  William  at  that 
time  more  particularly  suffered,  on  the  ground  of  his 
birth  and  of  the  friends  he  had  ennobled.  They  were  no 
true-born  Englishmen :  that  was  the  cant  in  vogue.  Mr. 
Tutchin's  poem  of  The  Foreigners  was  on  every  body's 
tongue.  The  feeling  had  vented  itself,  in  the  previous 
year,  on  that  question  of  the  dismissal  of  the  Dutch 
Guards,  which  the  King  took  so  sorely  to  heart.  The 
same  feeling  had  forced  the  Tories  into  power ;  it  had 
swelled  their  Tory  majority  with  malcontent  Whigs  ; 
and  it  now  threatened  the  fair  and  just  rewards  which 
William  had  offered  to  his  deserving  Generals.  It  is 
recorded  of  him  at  this  juncture,  that  even  his  great 
silent  heart  at  last  gave  way.  "  My  Guards  have  done 
"  for  them  what  they  could  not  do  for  themselves,  and 
"  they  sen^i  them  from  me."  He  paced  his  cabinet  in 
uncontrollable  emotion.  He  would  have  called  out  his 
assailants,  he  said,  if  he  had  been  a  private  man.  If  he 
had  not  had  the  obligation  of  other  than  private  duties, 
he  would  have  resigned  the  crown. 

Then  it  was  that  De  Foe  stepped  in  with  his  timely 
service.     The  True-horn  Englishman  was  a  doggerel,  but 


De  Foe.~\       the  true-born  englisipian.  89 

a  fine  one.  It  was  full  of  earnest,  weighty  sense ;  of 
excellent  history ;  of  the  nicest  knowledge  of  our  English 
character  ;  and  it  thrust  right  home  at  the  point  in  issue. 
It  proved  the  undeniable  truth,  that,  so  far  from  being  of 
pure  birth  and  blood.  Englishmen  are  the  most  mixed 
race  on  the  earth,  and  owe  to  that  very  circumstance 
their  distinction  over  other  feebler  races.  Whilst  others, 
for  the  lack  of  such  replenishment,  have  dwindled  or 
periihed,  the  English  have  been  invigorated  and  sustained 
by  it,  and  their  best  blood  has  owed  its  continual  pre- 
dominance mainly  to  the  very  rudeness  and  strength  of 
the  admixture.  This  True-horn  Englishman  exposed  a 
vulgar  prejudice,  even  as  it  flattered  a  reasonable  vanity ; 
and  few  things  of  a  merely  temporary  interest  have  ever 
equalled  its  success.     Its  first  four  lines, 

* '  Wherever  God  erects  a  house  of  prayer, 
Tlie  Devil  always  builds  a  chapel  there  ; 
And  'twill  be  found,  upon  examination, 
The  latter  has  the  largest  congregation," — 

are  all  that  perhaps  fairly  dan  be  said  to  have  survived, 
of  couplets  that  were  then  shouted  from  street  to  street ; 
yet  it  would  be  easy,  by  any  dozen  lines  taken  at  random 
from  those  that  have  perished  out  of  memory,  to  show  not 
only  its  merit  as  a  vigorous  piece  of  writing,  but  the  art 
with  which  it  appealed  to  the  common  people.  Such  an 
example  might  at  once  be  taken  from  the  passage  which 
exhibits  Charles  the  Second,  with  a  view  to  fresh  supply 
against  the  drain  upon  noble  blood  occasioned  by  the 
Civil  ^7ars,  contributing  himself  six  dukes  to  the  peerage 
of  England — 

* '  And  carefully  repeoj)ling  us  again, 
Throughout  his  lazy,  long,  lascivious  reign  ; 
French  cooks,'  Scotch  pedlars,  and  Italian  whores, 
Were  all  made  lords  or  lords'  progenitors. 
Beggars  and  bastards  by  his  new  creation 
Still  multiplied  the  peerage  of  the  nation. 
Who  will  be  all,  ere  one  short  age  runs  o'er, 
As  true-born  lords  as  those  we  had  before  ; 
Then,  with  true  English  pride,  they  may  contemn 
Schomberg  and  Portland,  new-made  noblemen  ! " 

The  instant  popularity  of  the  satire  was  astonishingly 
great.    Besides  the  nine  editions  of  which  De  Foe  himself 


90  SERVICES  TO  THE  KING.  \_Daniel 

received  tlie  profit,  upwards  of  twelve  editions  were  pirated, 
printed,  and  sold,  in  defiance  of  his  interdict.  More  than 
eighty  thousand  copies,  we  are  told,  were  thus  disposed  of 
in  the  streets  alone.  But  it  is  more  important  to  have  to 
remark,  that  it  destroyed  the  cant  against  which  it  was 
directed.  "  Nothing  was  more  frequent  in  our  mouths 
"  before  that ;  nothing  so  universally  blushed  for  and 
"  laughed  at,  since.  Whereas,  before,  you  had  it  in  the 
"  best  writers,  and  in  the  most  florid  speeches,  before  the 
"  most  august  assemblies,  upon  the  most  solemn  occasions,'' 
— Now,  without  a  blush  or  a  laugh,  you  never  heard  it 
named. 

It  may  be  doubted  if  this  great  King  had  ever  so 
deeply  felt  a  service.  His  opportunities  were  few.  De 
Foe  has  recorded  how  he  was  sent  for  to  the  palace,  on 
the  special  occasion  of  his  book;  with  what  kindness 
he  was  received ;  "  how  employed ;  and  how,  above  his 
"  capacity  of  deserving,  rewarded."  His  free  access  to 
William's  cabinet  never  ceased  from  this  time.  There 
are  statements,  throughout  his  writings,  of  the  many 
points  of  public  policy  he  had  been  permitted  frankly  to 
discuss  with  the  sovereign.  On  the  agitated  questions 
of  the  Partition  Treaties,  he  was  many  times  consulted ; 
and  there  was  one  grand  theme,  nobly  characteristic 
of  the  minds  of  both,  often  recurred  to  in  these  inter- 
views. It  was  the  Union  of  Scotland  with  England. 
"  It  shall  be  done,"  said  WilHam ;  "  but  not  yet." 
Other  things  more  nearly  and  closely  pressed  him  then. 

The  rapid  growth  and  march  of  the  Revolution  might 
be  aptly  measured  by  the  incidents  and  disputes  of  the 
last  year  of  his  reign.  They  turned  solely  on  the  power 
claimed  by  the  lower  house  of  legislature.  In  several 
ably- written  pamphlets,  and  particularly  in  a  Letter  dis- 
tinguished for  its  plain  and  nervous  diction,  and  in  which 
the  grounds  of  popular  representation  were  so  happily 
condensed  and  clearly  stated,  that  it  has  been  a  text-book 
of  political  disputants  from  the  days  of  the  expulsion  of 
Walpole  and  of  Wilkes  to  those  of  the  Reform  Bill,' — 

^  This  remarkable  pamphlet  in  over  the  Delegated  authority,  and 

defence  of  Popular  Rights,  may  be  remains  still,  as  it  was  when  first 

briefly  described  as  a  demonstration  written,  the  most  able,  plain,  and 

of  the  predominance  of  the  Original  courageous  exposition  in  our  lau- 


Be  Foe  ]      defence  of  popular  rights.  91 

De  Foe  impugned  the  full  extent  of  the  claim  on  tlie 
ground  of  a  non- representation  of  the  people ;  but  a 
power  had  lately  arisen,  within  the  House  itself,  indicative 


guage,  of  the  doctrine  on  wliich  our 
own  and  all  free  political  consti- 
tutions rest.  Its  argument  proceeds 
from  four  general  propositions, 
which  are  worked  out  with  masterly 
power  and  clearness.  The  first  is, 
That  all  government  is  contrived 
and  instituted  by  the  consent  and 
for  the  mutual  benefit  and  protec- 
tion of  the  governed.  The  second, 
That  its  constituent  members, 
whether  King,  Lords  or  Commons, 
if  they  invert  the  great  end  of  their 
institution,  cease  to  be,  and  sur- 
render their  power  to  the  source 
from  which  it  proceeded.  The 
third,  That  no  collective  or  repre- 
sentative body  of  men  whatsoever, 
in  matters  of  politics  or  religion, 
have  been  infallible.  And  the 
fourth,  That  reason  is  the  test  and 
touchstone  of  laws,  which  cease  to 
be  binding,  and  become  void,  when 
contradictory  to  reason.  Of  which 
propositions  the  close  and  insepa- 
rable interdependence  is  shown,  hj 
exhibiting  the  respective  relations 
and  obligations  of  the  various  autho- 
rities of  the  State  to  each  other,  and 
to  their  supreme  head ;  it  being  the 
grand  purpose  of  the  argument  to 
demonstrate  the  sole  safety  and 
efficacy  of  the  latter  in  the  final 
resort.  "For,  notwithstanding  all 
* '  the  beauty  of  our  constitution, 
"and  the  exact  symmetry  of  its 
"  parts,  about  which  some  have 
*'  been  so  very  eloquent,  this  noble, 
"  well-contrived  system  has  been 
*'  overwhelmed,  the  government  has 
*'  been  inverted,  the  people's  liber- 
*'  ties  have  been  trampled  on, 
'*  and  parliaments  have  been  ren- 
**  dered  useless  and  insignificant. 
"  And  what  has  restored  us  ?  The 
"  last  resort  has  been  to  the  people, 
"  Vox  Dei  has  been  found  there, 
*'  not  in  the  representatives,  but  in 
■*' their  original,  the  represented." 
And  let  no  man  dread  such  last 
resort,  wisely  adds  De  Foe.     For 


what  say  the  practical  results  of 
history  as  to  the  unvarying  political 
tendencies  of  the  English  people  ? 
"  The  genius  of  this  nation  has 
"  always  appeared  to  tend  to  a 
"limited  monarchy;  and  having 
"  had,  in  the  late  Revolution,  a 
*'  full  and  interrupted  liberty  to 
"  cast  themselves  into  what  form 
"  of  government  they  pleased,  there 
'*  was  not  discovered  the  least  in- 
'*  clination  in  any  party  to  a  com- 
"  mon wealth,  though  the  treatment 
"  they  met  with  from  their  last  two 
"  kings  had  all  in  it  that  could  be; 
*'  to  put  them  out  of  love  with 
"  monarchy.  A  commonwealth 
"  can  never  be  introduced  but  by 
"  such  invasions  of  right  as  must 
"  make  our  constituted  government 
'*  impracticable.  C^he  reason  is, 
"  because  men  never  willingly 
* '  change  for  the  worse  ;  and  the 
"  people  of  England  enjoy  more 
"  freedom  in  our  regal,  than  any 
* '  people  in  the  world  can  do  in  a 
"  popular  government.")  But  were 
it  otherwise,  not  the  less  must  this 
thorough  Englishman  uphold  the 
superiority  of  the  original  power. 
Before  there  was  such  a  thing  as  a 
Constitution,  there  must  have  been 
a  People  ;  and,  as  the  end  to  which 
authority  is  delegated  can  never  be 
other  than  the  public  good,  upon 
the  unquestioned  assertion  of  all 
men's  right  to  the  government  of 
themselves  must  also  rest  the  most 
absolute  and  express  confirmation 
that  such  delegated  authority  can 
receive.  Addressing  the  King,  he 
says,  "It  is  not  the  least  extra- 
"  ordinary  attribute  of  your  ma- 
"  jesty's  character,  that,  as  you  are 
"  king  of  your  people,  so  you  are 
"  the  people's  king ;  a  title,  as  it  is 
"  the  most  glorious,  so  it  is  the 
"  most  indisputable  in  the  world. 
"  Your  majesty,  among  all  the 
* '  blessings  of  your  reign,  has  re- 
'*  stored  this  as  the  best  of  all  our 


92 


HARLEY  AND  THE  HOUSE  OF  COMMONS. 


[Baniel 


of  the  changed  relations  of  the  Government  of  England, 
mser  in  effect  than  the  wisdom  of  Somers,  and  more 
cunning  than  the  cunning  of  Sunderland.  "  The  Tories," 
said  the  latter  to  William,  ''  are  better  speakers  than  the 
"  Whigs  in  the  House  of  Commons^  It  had  arisen  into 
a  peculiar  art — this  art  of  oratory — there.  Confessedly- 
one  of  the  most  influential  of  its  members  was  he  whom 
the  last  three  parliaments  of  William  elected  for  their 
Speaker ;  yet  no  man  would  have  listened  patiently  for 
five  minutes  to  Robert  Harley,  anywhere  but  in  the 
House  of  Commons.  There,  he  was  supreme.  The 
country  gentlemen  voted  for  him,  though  they  remem- 
bered that  his  family  went  to  a  meeting- house.  The 
younger  members  put  forth  their  most  able  and  graceful 
representative  to  honour  him,  when  Henry  St.  John 
seconded  his  third  nomination.  And  posterity  itself  had 
cause  to  be  grateful  to  him,  when,  employing  for  once  this 
influence  in  its  service,  he  joined  Tory  and  Whig  in  a 
common  demand  for  the  best  securities  of  the  Act  of 
Settlement.     It  was  not  genius,  it  was  not  eloquence,  it 


"  enjoyments— tlie  full  liberty  of 
"  Original  Right ;  and  your  majesty 
*'  knows  too  well  the  nature  of  go- 
"  vernment  to  think  it  at  all  the 
*'  less  honourable,  or  the  more  pre- 
"  carious,  for  being  devolved  from, 
' '  and  centred  in,  the  consent  of 
'•  your  people."  To  the  Lords,  he 
conceded  their  place  as  an  indepen- 
dent branch  of  the  Constitution,  and 
then  tells  them  :  "The  rest  of  the 
"  freeholders  have  originally  a  right 
•'  to  sit  there  with  you  ;  but,  being 
"  too  numerous  a  body,  they  have 
"  long  since  agreed  that  whenever 
*'  the  King  thinks  fit  to  advise  with 
"  his  people,  they  will  choose  a  cer- 
**  tain  few  out  of  their  great  body 
"  to  meet  together  with  your  Lord- 
*'  ships.  Here  is  the  original  of 
* '  parliaments ;  and,  when  thrones 
*'  become  vacant,  to  this  original 
"  all  power  of  course  returns,  as 
*'  was  the  case  at  the  Revolution." 
To  the  House  of  Commons,  finally, 
as  the  representatives  of  the  col- 
lected body  of  the  people,  De  Foe 


turns  ;  and  with  his  very  striking 
address  to  them,  may  be  closed  this 
imperfect  sketch  of  a  very  important 
and  powerful  political  tract :  "To 
"  you  they  have  trusted,  jointly 
' '  with  the  King  and  the  Lords,  the 
"  power  of  making  laws,  raising 
"  taxes,  and  impeaching  criminals  ; 
"  but  it  is  in  the  name  of  all  the 
' '  Commons  of  England,  whose  re- 
"  presentatives  you  are.  All  this 
' '  is  not  said  to  lessen  your  autho- 
' '  rity,  which  cannot  be  the  interest 
"  of  any  English  ireeholder  :  but  if 
* '  you  are  dissolved  (for  you  are  not 
*'  immortal),  or  if  you  are  deceived 
"  (for  you  are  not  infallible),  it  was 
"  never  supposed,  till  very  lately, 
"  that  all  power  dies  with  you. 
"  You  may  die,  but  the  People  re- 
* '  main ;  you  may  be  dissolved,  and 
"all  immediate  right  may  cease; 
"  power  may  have  its  intervals,  and 
"  crowns  their  interregnum  :  but 
"  Original  Power  endures  to  the 
"  same  eternity  as  the  world  eu- 
"  dures." 


De  Fce,~\  kentish  petition  and  legion  memorial.    93 

was  not  statesmansliip,  that  had  given  Harley  this  extra- 
ordinary power.  It  was  House  of  Commons  tact.  It 
was  a  thing  born  of  the  Eevolution ;  and  of  which  the 
aim  and  tendency,  through  whatever  immediate  effects, 
was  in  the  end  to  strengthen  and  advance  the  Revolution. 
For,  it  rested  on  the  largest  principles,  even  while  it  ap- 
pealed to  the  meanest  passions. 

There  was  something  very  striking  in  the  notion  of 
De  Foe,  to  bring  it  suddenly  face  to  face  with  those 
higher  principles  ;  and  this  he  did  in  his  Kentish  Petition 
and  Legion  Memorial.  In  all  the  histories  which  relate 
the  Tory  impeachment  of  AYilliam^s  four  Whig  lords, 
will  be  found  that  counter-impeachment  of  the  House 
of  Commons  itself,  preferred  in  the  name  of  the  entire 
population  of  England,  and  comprising  fifteen  articles  of 
treason  against  their  authority.  It  was  creating  a  People, 
it  is  true,  before  the  people  had  declared  themselves; 
but  it  was  done  with  the  characteristic  reality  of  genius, 
and  had  a  startling  effect.  As  Harley  passed  into  the 
House,  a  man  muffled  in  a  cloak  placed  the  Memorial  in 
his  hands.  The  Speaker  knew  De  Foe's  person,  and  is 
said  by  the  latter  to  have  recognised  him ;  but  he  kept 
his  counsel. 

No  one  has  doubted,  that  in  the  excitement  of  the 
debates  that  followed,  the  Whigs  and  William  recovered 
much  lost  ground ;  and  the  coffee-houses  began  to  talk 
mightily  of  a  pamphlet  written  by  Temple's  quondam 
secretary,  now  the  Reverend  Jonathan  Swift,  parish  priest 
and  vicar  of  Laracor,  wherein  Lord  Portland  figured  as 
Phocion,  Lord  Oxford  as  Themistocles,  Lord  Halifax  as 
Pericles,  and  Lord  Somers  as  Aristides.  The  subsequent 
declaration  of  war  against  France  still  further  cheered 
and  consoled  the  King.  He  sent  for  De  Foe,  received 
from  him  a  scheme  for  opening  new  "  channels  of  trade  " 
in  connection  with  the  Avar,  and  assigned  to  him  a  main 
part   in  its   execution.^     He  felt  that  he  ruled  at  last, 

1  The  drift  of  this  scheme  was  ing  account  of  it  :    *'I  gave  you  an 

for  directing  such  operations  against  "  instance  of  a  proposal  which  1  had 

the  Spanish  possessions  in  the  West  * '  the  honour  to  lay  before  his  late 

Indies  as  might  open  new  channels  *'  Majesty,  at  the  beginning  of  the 

of  trade,  and  render  the  war  self-  * '  last  war,  for  the  sending  a  strong 

supporting.     Writing  about  it  some  * '  fleet  to  the  Havannah,  to  seize 

years  later,  De  Foe  gives  the  follow-  '*  that  part  of  the  island  in  which 


94  DEATH   OF   WILLIAM   THE   THIRD.  [^Daniel 

and  was  probably  never  so  reconciled  to  his  adopted 
kingdom.  But,  in  tbe  midst  of  grand  designs  and 
hopes,  he  fell  from  his  horse  in  hunting,  sickened  for  a 
month,  and  died. 

There  are  many  Mock  Mourners  at  royal  deaths,  and, 
in  a  poem  with  that  title,  De  Foe  would  have  saved  his 
hero's  memory  from  them.  He  claimed  for  him  nobler 
homage  than  such  tributes  raise,  "  to  damn  their  former 
"  follies  by  their  praise.  "*'  He  told  what  these  mourners 
were,  while  yet  their  living  King  appeared,  "  and  what 
"  they  knew  they  merited,  they  feared."  He  described 
what  has  since  become  matter  of  history,  that  toast  of 
"  William's  horse,"  which  had  lightened  all  their  festi- 
vities since  his  accident : — "  'twould  lessen  much  our 
"  woe,  had  Sorrel  stumbled  thirteen  years  ago."  And 
he  closed  with  eloquent  mention  of  the  heroic  death 
which  Burnet's  relation  made  so  distasteful  to  High 
Church  bigotry : 

*'  No  conscious  guilt  disturb'd  his  royal  breast, 
Calm  as  the  regions  of  eternal  rest." 

The  sincerity  of  the  grief  of  De  Foe  had  in  this  work 
lifted  his  verse  to  a  higher  and  firmer  tone.  It  was  a 
heartfelt  sorrow.  There  was  no  speeding  the  going,  wel- 
coming the  coming  sovereign,  for  De  Foe.  Nothing 
could  replace,  nothing  too  gratefully  remember,  the  past. 
It  was  his  pride  always  after  to  avouch,  that  to  have  been 
"  trusted,  esteemed,  and,  much  more  than  I  deserved, 
"  valued  by  the  best  king  England  ever  saw,"  was  more 
than  a  compensation  for  what  inferior  men  could  inflict 
upon  him.  When,  in  later  years,  Lord  Haversham  de- 
nounced him  in  the  House  of  Lords  as  a  mean  and  mer- 
cenary writer,  he  told  that  ungrateful  servant  of  King 

"  it  is  situated,  and  from  thence  to  **  been  enabled  to  support  this  war. 

**  seize  and  secure  the  possession  of  "But   the   King    died,    in    whose 

*'  at  least  the  coast,  if  not  by  coiise-  "  hands  this  glorious  scheme  was  in 

*' quence  the  Terra  Fir  ma,  of  the  *' a  fair  way  of  being   concerted, 

**  empire  of  Mexico,    and  thereby  *'  and  which,  had  it  gone  on,  I  had 

**  entirely  cut  off  the  Spanish  com-  *'  had  the  honour  to  have  been  not 

"merce   and   the   return   of  their  "the  first  proposer  only,   but   to 

"Plate    fleets;    by    the    immense  "  have  had  some  share  in  the  per- 

* '  riches    whereof,    and  by  which  * '  formance." 
* '  only,  both  France  and  Spain  have 


De  FoeJ]       character  of  queen  anne.  95 

William,  that  if  lie  should  say  he  had  the  honour  to  know 
something  from  his  majesty,  and  to  transact  something 
for  him,  which  he  would  not  have  trusted  Lord  Ha- 
versham  with,  perhaps  there  might  he  more  truth  than 
modesty  in  it.  Still,  to  the  very  last,  it  was  his  theme. 
''  I  never  forget  his  goodness  to  me,"  he  said,  when  his 
own  life  was  wearing  to  its  close.  "  It  was  my  honour 
'^  and  advantage  to  call  him  master  as  well  as  sovereign. 
"  I  never  patiently  heard  his  memory  slighted,  nor  ever 
"  can  do  so.  Had  he  lived,  he  would  never  have  suffered 
"  me  to  he  treated  as  I  have  heen  in  this  world."  Aye  ! 
good,  brave,  Daniel  De  Foe !  There  is  indeed  but  sorry 
treatment  in  store  for  you. 

The  accession  of  Anne  was  the  signal  for  Tory  re- 
joicings. She  was  thirty-seven,  and  her  character  was 
formed  and  known.  It  was  a  compound  of  weakness  and 
of  bigotry,  but  in  some  sort  these  availed  to  counteract 
each  other.  Devotion  to  a  High  Church  principle  was 
needful  to  her  fearful  conscience ;  but  reliance  on  a 
woman-favourite  was  needful  to  her  feeble  mind.  She 
found  Marlborough  and  Godolphin  in  office,  where  they 
had  been  placed  by  their  common  kinsman,  Sunderland ; 
and  she  raised  Godolphin  to  the  post  of  Lord  Treasurer, 
and  made  Marlborough  Captain-General.  Even  if  she  had 
not  known  them  to  be  opponents  of  the  Whigs,  she  would 
yet  have  done  this ;  for  she  had  been  some  years  under  the 
influence  of  Marlborough's  strong-minded  wife,  and  that 
influence  availed  to  retain  the  same  advisers  when  she 
found  them  converted  into  what  they  had  opposed.  The 
spirit  of  The  Great  lives  after  them ;  and  this  weak, 
superstitious,  "  good  sort  of  woman,"  little  thought,  when 
she  uttered  with  so  much  enjoyment  the  slighting  allu- 
sions to  William  in  her  first  speech  from  the  throne,  that 
the  legacy  of  foreign  administration  left  by  that  high- 
minded  sovereign  would  speedily  transform  the  Tories, 
then  standing  by  her  side,  into  undeniable  earnest  Whigs.' 

^  The  Commons  replied  to  the  signally  retrieved  the  ancient  honour 

address   in   the   same   strain,    and  and   glory  of  the   English   nation, 

congratulated   her   Majesty  on  the  Very  felicitous  were  the  lines  of  the 

wisdom  of  her  councils  and  the  sue-  satire  : 

cess  of  her  arms,  by  which  she  had  "Pacific  Admirals,  to  save  the  fleet, 


96  TRIUMPH   OF    THE    HIGH-FLYERS.  [Daniel 

At  first  all  promised  well  for  the  most  high-flpng 
Churclimen.  Jacobites  came  in  with  proffered  oaths  of 
allegiance  ;  the  "  landed  interest''  rubbed  its  hands  with 
anticipation  of  discountenance  to  trade ;  tantivy  parsons 
cried  their  loudest  halloo  against  Dissent ;  the  martyr- 
dom of  Charles  became  the  incessant  theme  of  pulpits, 
for  comparison  of  the  martyr  to  the  Saviour ;  and,  by  way 
of  significant  hint  of  the  royal  sanctity,  and  the  return  of 
the  throne  to  a  more  lineal  succession,  the  gift  of  the  royal 
touch  was  solemnly  revived.  Nor  did  the  feeling  explode 
in  mere  talk,  or  pass  without  a  practical  seconding.  The 
Ministry  introduced  a  bill  against  Occasional  Conformity, 
the  drift  of  which  was  to  disqualify  Dissenters  from  all 
civil  employments ;  and  though  the  ministers  themselves 
were  indifferent  to  it,  court  bigotry  pressed  it  so  hard, 
that  even  the  Queen's  husband,  himself  an  Occasional 
Conformist,  was  driven  to  vote  for  it.  '*My  heart  is  vid 
"  you,"  he  said  to  Lord  Wharton,  as  he  divided  against 
him.  It  was  a  remark,  if  taken  in  connexion  with  the 
vote,  very  chommingly  foreign  to  the  purpose. 

The  bill,  passed  by  the  Tory  House  of  Commons 
(where  Harley  had  again  been  chosen  Speaker),  was 
defeated  by  the  Whig  lords,  to  the  great  comfort  of  its 
authors,  the  ministry.  But  the  common  people,  having 
begun  their  revel  of  High  Church  excitement,  were  not 
to  be  balked  so  easily.  They  pulled  down  a  few  dissent- 
ing chapels ;  sang  High  Church  songs  in  the  streets ; 
insulted  known  Dissenters  as  they  passed  along ;  and  in 
other  ways  orthodoxly  amused  themselves.  Swift  enjoyed 
the  excitement,  and  in  his  laughing  way  told  Stella  that  so 
universal  was  it,  he  observed  the  dogs  in  the  streets  to  be 
much  more  contumelious  and  quarrelsome  than  usual; 
and,  the  very  night  the  bill  went  up  to  the  Lords,  a  com- 
mittee of  Whig  and  Tory  cats  had  been  having  a  very 
warm  and  loud  debate  on  the  roof  of  his  house.  But 
it  seemed  to  De  Foe  a  Kttle  more  serious.  On  personal 
grounds  he  did  not  care  for  the  bill,  its  acceptance  or  its 
rejection  :  but  its  political  tendency  was  unsafe  ;  it  was 
designed  as  an  act  of  oppression  ;  the  spirit  aroused  was 

Shall  fly  from  conquest,  and  shall  William's  cost, 

conquest  meet.  And  honour  be  retrieved  before 

Commanders   shall  be  praised    at  'tis  lost  ! " 


De  Foe.']       sacheverell's  bloody  flag.  97 

dangerous  ;  and  the  attitude  taken  by  Dissenters  wanted 
both  dignity  and  courage.  Nor  let  it  be  supposed,  while 
he  still  looked  doubtingly  on,  that  he  had  any  personal 
reason  which  would  not  strongly  have  withheld  him  from 
the  fray.  He  had  now  six  children ;  his  affairs  were 
again  thriving;  the  works  at  Tilbury  had  reasonably 
prospered ;  and  passing  judgment,  by  the  world's  most 
favoured  tests,  on  the  house  to  which  he  had  lately  re- 
moved at  Hackney,  on  the  style  in  which  he  lived  there, 
and  on  the  company  he  kept,  it  must  be  said  that  Daniel 
De  Foe  was  at  this  time  most  "  respectable  "  and  well  to 
do.  He  kept  his  coach  and  visited  county  members.* 
But,  as  the  popular  rage  continued,  he  waived  considera- 
tions of  prudence  in  his  determination  to  resist  it.  There 
was  a  foul-mouthed  Oxford  preacher  named  Sacheverell, 
who  had  lately  announced  from  his  pulpit  to  that  intelli- 
gent University,  that  he  could  not  be  a  true  son  of  the 
Church  who  did  not  lift  up  her  banner  against  the  Dis- 
senters, who  did  not  hang  out  the  "bloody  flag  and 
"  banner  of  defiance  ; "  and  this  sermon  was  selling  for 
twopence  in  the  streets.  It  determined  him,  as  he  tells  us, 
to  delay  no  longer.  He  would  make  an  effort  to  stay  the 
plague.  And  he  wrote  and  published  his  Shortest  Way 
with  the  Dissenters — without  his  name,  of  course. 

Its  drift  was  to  personate  the  opinions  and  style  of  the 
most  furious  of  the  high-flying  Church  party,  and  to  set 
forth,  with  perfect  gravity  and  earnestness,  the  extreme  of 
the  ferocious  intolerance  to  which  their  views  and  wishes 
tended.  "We  can  conceive  nothing  so  seasonable,  or  in 
the  execution  so  inimitably  real.  We  doubt  if  a  finer 
specimen  of  serious  irony  exists  in  the  language.  In  the 
only  effective  mode,  it  stole  a  march  on  the  blind  bigotry 
of  the  one  party,  and  on  the  torpid  dulness  of  the  other  ; 
for,  to  have  spoken  to  either  in  a  graver  tone,  would  have 
called  forth  a  laugh  or  a  stare.  Only  discovery  could 
effect  prevention.  A  mine  must  be  sprung,  to  show  the 
combustibles  in  use,  and  the  ruin  and  disaster  they  were 
fraught  with.    "  'Tis  in  vain,"  said  the  Shortest  Way,  "  to 


^  He  makes  frequent  mention  of  mansion  at  Steyning  appears  to 
one  of  the  Sussex  members,  Sir  hare  been  always  at  the  service  of 
John  Fagg,  the  hospitality  of  whose       De  Foe. 


98  SHORTEST   WAY   WITH   DISSENTERS.         \_Damel 

*'  trifle  in  this  matter.  We  can  never  enjoy  a  settled 
"  uninterrupted  union  in  this  nation,  till  the  spirit  of 
"  Whiggism,  Faction,  and  Schism,  is  melted  down  like 
*'  the  old  money.  Here  is  the  opportunity  to  secure  the 
"  Church  and  destroy  her  enemies.  I  do  not  prescribe 
"  fire  and  faggot,  but  Delenda  est  Carthago.  They  are  to 
"  be  rooted  out  of  this  nation,  if  ever  we  will  live  in  peace 
"  or  serve  God.  The  light  foolish  handling  of  them 
"  by  fines  is  their  glory  and  advantage.  If  the  gallows 
"  instead  of  the  compter,  and  the  galleys  instead  of  the 
"  fines,  were  the  reward  of  going  to  a  conventicle,  there 
"  would  not  be  so  many  sufferers.  The  spirit  of  martyr- 
"  dom  is  over.  They  that  will  go  to  church  to  be  chosen 
"  sheriffs  and  mayors,  would  go  to  forty  churches  rather 
"  than  be  hanged.'* 

If  a  justification  of  this  masterly  pamphlet  were  needed, 
would  it  not  be  strikingly  visible  in  the  existence  of  a 
state  of  society  wherein  such  arguments  as  these  could  be 
taken  to  have  grave  intention  ?  Gravely,  they  tcere  so 
taken.  Sluggish,  timid,  cowardly  Dissenters  were  struck 
with  fear ;  rabid  High  Churchmen  shouted  approval.  A 
Cambridge  Fellow  wrote  to  thank  his  bookseller  for 
having  sent  him  so  excellent  a  treatise,  it  being,  next  to 
the  Holy  Bible  and  the  Sacred  Comments,  the  most 
valuable  he  had  ever  seen.  But  then  came  a  whisper  of 
its  true  intention,  and  the  note  suddenly  changed.  There 
arose  a  clamour  for  discovery  and  punishment  of  the 
writer,  unequalled  in  its  vehemence  and  intensity.  The 
very  thing  that  made  them  eager  and  exulting  to  have 
the  thing  said,  made  them  shrink  in  mortification  and 
shame  from  the  fact  of  his  saying  it.  To  the  lasting  dis- 
grace of  the  Dissenters,  they  joined  the  cry.  They  took 
revenge  for  their  own  dulness.  That  the  writer  was  De 
Foe  was  now  generally  known  ;  and  they  owed  his  wit  no 
favour.  It  had  troubled  them  too  often  before  the  time. 
They  preferred  to  wait  until  Sacheverell's  bloody  flag 
should  be  hoisted  in  reality  :  such  a  pamphlet,  meanwhile, 
was  a  scurrilous  irreverence  to  religion  and  authority,  and 
they  would  have  none  of  it.  Yet,  bad  as  were  the  conse- 
quences involved  in  their  desertion  of  him,  he  had  nothing 
more  harsh  than  a  smile  for  their  stupidity.  "  All  the 
**  fault  I  can  find  in  myself  as  to  these  people  is,  that 


De  Foe,"]    reward  offered  for  the  author.  99 

"  when  I  had  drawn  the  picture,  I  did  not,  like  the  Dutch- 
*'  man  with  his  man  and  bear,  write  underneath,  *  This  is 
'^  *  the  man,  and  this  is  the  bear,'  lest  the  people  should 
"  mistake  me.  Having,  in  a  compliment  to  their  judg- 
"  ment,  shunned  so  sharp  a  reflection  upon  their  senses, 
"  I  have  left  them  at  liberty  to  treat  me  like  one  that  put 
"  a  value  upon  their  penetration  at  the  expense  of  my 
*'  own.'*  And  so  indeed  they  treated  him  !  A  worthy 
colonel  of  the  party  said,  "  he'd  undertake  to  be  hangman, 
"  rather  than  the  author  of  the  Shortest  Way  should  want 
"  a  pass  out  of  the  world  ; "  and  a  self-denying  chairman 
of  one  of  the  foremost  dissenters'  clubs  went  to  such 
alarming  lengths  with  his  zeal,  as  to  protest  that  if  he 
could  find  the  libeller  he  would  deliver  him  up  without 
the  reward.  For,  Government  had  now  offered  a  reward 
of  fifty  pounds  for  the  apprehension  of  Daniel  De  Foe. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  moderate  chiefs  were  dis- 
inclined to  so  extreme  a  step  :  but  they  were  weak  at  this 
time.  Lord  Nottingham  had  not  yet  been  displaced; 
there  was  a  Tory  House  of  Commons,  which  not  even 
Harley's  tact  could  always  manage,  and  by  which  the 
libel  had  been  voted  to  the  hangman;  nor  had  Godol- 
phin's  reluctance  availed  against  the  wish  of  the  Court, 
that  office  should  be  given  to  the  member  most  eminent 
for  opposition  to  the  late  King  while  he  lived,  and  for 
insults  to  his  memory.  De  Foe  had  little  chance ;  and 
Nottingham,  a  sincere  bigot,  took  the  task  of  hunting 
him  down.  The  proclamation  in  the  London  Gazette 
described  him  as  "  a  middle-sized,  spare  man,  about  forty 
*'  years  old,  of  a  brown  complexion,  and  dark-brown 
'^  coloured  hair,  but  wears  a  wig ;  a  hooked  nose,  a  sharp 
"  chin,  grey  eyes,  and  a  large  mole  near  his  mouth ; 
*'  owner  of  the  brick  and  pantile  works  near  Tilbury  Fort, 
*'  in  Essex." '     But  it  was  not  immediately  successful. 

^  Here  is  the  exact  advertisement:  **  but  wears  a  wig  ;  a  hooked  nose,  a 

—  "Whereas  Daniel  De  Foe,  alias  "  shnrp  chin,  grey  eyes,  and  a  large 

"  De  Fooe,  is  charged  with  writing  "  mole  near  his  mouth  ;  was  born 

"  a  scandalous  and  seditious  pam-  "in  London,  and  for  many  years 

' '  phlet,  entitled,  The  Shortest  Way  ' '  was  a  hose-factor,  in  Freeman's 

"  with  the  Dissenters  :  he  is  a  mid-  "  Yard   in   Cornhill,    and    now   is 

"die-sized  spare  man,  about  forty  "owner  of  the  brick  and  pantile 

"  years  old,  of  a  brown  complexion,  "works,    near    Tilbury    Fort,    in 

"and   dark-brown   coloured    hair,  "Essex:    whoever  shall    discover 

u  2 


100  TRIAL   AT   THE    OLD   BAILEY.  [Daniel 

Warrants  then  threw  into  custody  the  printer  and  the 
bookseller ;  and  De  Foe  concealed  himself  no  longer.  He 
came  forth,  as  he  says,  to  brave  the  storm.  He  would 
not  have  others  ruined  by  mistake  for  him. 

He  stood  in  the  Old  Bailey  dock  in  July  1703.  Harcourt, 
who  before  had  carried  up  the  impeachment  of  Somers,  and 
was  afterwards  counsel  for  Sacheverell,  prosecuted.  "  A 
"  man  without  shame,"  says  Speaker  Onslow,  "  but  very 
"  able."  It  was  his  doctrine,  that  he  ought  to  prosecute 
every  man  who  should  assert  any  power  in  the  people  to 
Oall  their  governors  to  account, — taking  this  to  be  a  right 
corollary  from  the  law  of  libel,  then  undoubtedly  existing, 
that  no  man  might  publish  any  piece  reflecting  on  the 
government,  or  even  upon  the  capacity  and  fitness  of  any 
one  employed  in  it.  The  Revolution  had  not  altered 
that  law ;  and  it  was,  in  effect,  the  direct  source  of  the 
profligate  and  most  prolific  personal  libels  of  the  age  we 
are  entering  on.  For,  of  course,  Harcourt's  policy  was 
found  impracticable,  and  retaliation  was  substituted  for 
it, — as  the  denial  of  all  liberty  in  theory  will  commonly 
produce  extreme  licentiousness  in  practice.  We  do  not 
know  who  defended  De  Foe ; '  but  he  seems  to  have  been 


**  the  said  Daniel  De  Foe  to  one  of  *'  was  ironically  said  in  that  book 

*'  her  Majesty's  principal  secretaries  "  was  not  seriously,  as  well  as  with 

"  of  state,  or  any  of  her  Majesty's  "  a  malicious  earnest,  published  in 

*'  justices  of  peace,  so  as  he  may  be  '*  print  with  impunity  a  hundred 

"  apprehended,  sli^ll  have  a  reward  "times   before   and   since?      And 

"  of  fifty  pounds,    which  her  Ma-  "  whether,    therefore,    to  say  that 

*'  jesty  has  ordered  immediately  to  "  this  was  a  crime,  flies  so  much  in 

"  be  paid  upon  such  discovery."  "  the  face  of  the  churchmen,  that 

^  Some  idea  of  the  speech  for  the  *'  it  upbraids  them  with    blowing 

prosecution   is   derivable   from  the  *'  up  their  own  cause,   and  ruining 

allusions  made  to  it  by  De  Foe  him-  *'  their  friends  by  a  method  they  at 

self  in  after  years.    Harcourt's  posi-  "  the  same  time  condemn  in  others, 

tion  throughout  was,  that  it  was  an  **  Upon  this  foot,  I  again  say,  the 

atrocious  libel  on  churchmen  to  con-  *'  book  was  just,  its  design  fair,  and 

ceive  them  capable  of  uttering  such  "  all  the  facts  charged  upon  them 

abominable  sentiments.      "To  hear  "very    true."       Then    came    the 

"  of  a  gentleman,"  says   De  Foe,  Sacheverell  sermon   at   St.   Paul's, 

writing  during  his  subsequent  ira-  transcending  all  that  De  Foe  had 

prisonment,  "telling  me  7'Ae  »SAor<-  invented  as  apposite  to  such  pulpit 

"  est  ^ay  was  paving  the  way  over  agitators  ;  and  thus  he  commented 

**  the  skulls  of  churchmen,  and  it  upon  it  : — "Where  were  the  brains 

"is  a  crime  to  justify  it!     That  "  of  wise  Sir  Simon  Harcourt,  when, 

"  should  have  been  said  by  no  man,  "  according  to  his  custom,  bullying 

"but  him  who  could  first  answer  "the  author  then  at  the  bai-,  he 

* '  this  question  :  Whether  ail  that  ' '  cried,    '  Oh,  but  he  would  insinu- 


2)^  Foe.^  WIT   DULY   REWARDED.  101 

ill  defended.  He  was  advised  to  admit  the  libel,  on  a 
loose  assurance  in  the  court  that  a  high  influence  was  not 
indisposed  to  protect  him.  He  was  declared  guilty  ;  and 
was  sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  of  two  hundred  marks,  to 
stand  three  times  in  the  pillory,  to  be  imprisoned  during 
the  Queen's  pleasure,  and  to  find  sureties  for  good  beha- 
viour for  seven  years.  Alas,  for  the  fate  of  Wit  in  this 
world !  De  Foe  was  taken  back  to  Newgate,  and  told  to 
prepare  for  the  pillory.  The  high  influence  whispered 
about,  made  no  sign  now.  But  some  years  after,  when 
it  was  her  interest  to  say  it,  the  Queen  condescended  to 
say,  that  "  she  left  all  that  matter  to  a  certain  person,  and 
"  did  not  think  he  would  have  used  Mr.  De  Foe  in  such 
"  manner." 

But  what  was  the  manner  to  Mr.  De  Foe  ?  He  went 
to  the  pillory,  as  in  those  after  years  he  went  to  the 
palace,  with  the  same  quiet  temper.  In  truth,  writers 
and  thinkers  lived  nearer  to  it,  then,  than  we  can  well 
fancy  possible  now.  It  had  played  no  ignominious  part 
in  the  grand  age  passed  away,  Noble  hearts  had  been 
tried  and  tempered  iu  it.  Daily  had  been  elevated  in  it, 
mental  independence,  manly  self-reliance,  robust  athletic 
endurance.     All  from  within  that  has  undying  worth,  it 

*' ate  that  the  Churchmen  were  for  "not    heard     how     eagerly    they 

*'  these  barbarous  ways   with   the  "  granted    the   suggestion,    by  es- 

"  Dissenters,'  and  therefore  it  was  **  pousing  the  proposal,  and  by  ac- 

*•  a  mighty  crime  !    And  now,  good  "  knowledging  it  was  the  way  they 

*'  Sir    Simon,    whose   honesty   and  "  desired.      Now,   here  is  another 

*'  modesty   were   born  together, —  '*  test  put  upon  the  world  of  this 

• '  you  see,  sir,  the  wrong  done  them  ;  ' '  true  High  Church  principle.     De- 

**  for  this  very  man,  whom  you  so  "  struction  of  Dissenters  is  proved 

*' impudently  said  was  then  abused,  **  to  be  no  more  persecution  than 

"  has  doomed  them  all  to  the  devil  "  hanging  of  highwaymen.     This  is 

*'and    his    angels,    declares    they  "  saying  in  earnest  what  the  author 

'*  ought  to  be  prosecuted  for  high  *'  of  The  Shortest  Way  said  in  jest ; 

"  treason,  and  tells  us  that  every  "  this  is  owning  that  to  the  sun, 

*'  Dissenter  from  the  Church  is  a  *'  which  Sir  Simon  Harcourt  said 

**  Traitor  to  the  State."     Again  he  "before   was  a   crime  to  suggest, 

says,  remarking  on  the  same  sub-  *'  Now  the  blessed  days  are  come 

ject  :   "When  Sir  Simon  Harcourt  "that  the   gi'eat   truth   is   owned 

"aggravated  it  against  the  author,  "barefaced;    and   the   party  that 

"  that  he  designed  the  book  to  have  "  ruined  and  abused  the  author  for 

**the  world  believe  the  Church  of  "telling  the  truth  out  of  season, 

"  England  would  have  the  Dissent-  "  makes  no  scruple  of  taking  this 

"  ers   thus    used,    'tis    presumed,  "  as  a  proper  season  to  tell  the  same 

"  without  reflection  upon  that  gen-  "  truth  in  their  own  way." 
*'  tleman  s  penetration,  that  he  had 


102  STANDING    IN    THE    PILLORY.  [Daniel 

had,  in  those  times,  but  the  more  plainly  exposed  to  public 
gaze  from  without.  The  only  Archbishop  that  De  Foe 
ever  truly  reverenced,  Robert  Leighton,  was  the  son  of 
a  man  who,  in  it,  had  been  tortured  and  mutilated ;  and 
the  saintly  character  of  that  Prelate  was  even  less  saintly 
than  his  father's.  A  Presbyterian's  first  thought  would 
be  of  these  things ;  and  De  Foe's  preparation  for  the 
pillory  was  to  fortify  his  honest  dignity  by  remembrance 
of  them,  in  the  most  nervous  and  pointed  verses  he  had 
ever  written. 


'  Hail,  Hieroglyphic  State  machine, 
Contriv'd  to  punish  Fancy  in  ; 
Men  that  are  men,  in  thee  can  feel  no  pain, 
And  all  thy  insignificants  disdain. 
Contempt,  that  false  new  word  for  shame, 
Is,  without  crime,  an  empty  name. 
A  Shadow  to  amuse  mankind, 
But  ne'er  to  fright  the  wise  or  well-fix'd  mind. 
Virtue  despises  human  scorn  ! 

Even  the  learned  Selden  saw 

A  prospect  of  thee  through  the  law. 

He  had  thy  lofty  pinnacles  in  view, 

But  so  much  honour  never  was  thy  due,"  &c. 


The  entire  Ode  is  in  truth  excellent. 

On  the  29th  of  July,  1703,  it  appeared  publicly,  in 
twenty-four  quarto  pages,  as  A  Hymn  to  the  Pillory,  by 
Daniel  De  Foe  ;  and  on  that  day,  we  are  informed  by  the 
Lojidon  Gazette,  Daniel  De  Foe  himself  stood  in  the 
pillory  before  the  Royal  Exchange  in  Cornhill ;  on  the 
day  following,  near  the  Conduit  in  Cheapside ;  and  on 
the  31st,  at  Temple-bar.  A  large  crowd  had  assembled 
to  provide  themselves  sport ;  but  the  pillory  they  most 
enjoyed  was  not  of  the  Government's  erecting.  Unex- 
pectedly they  saw  the  Law  pilloried,  and  the  Ministers 
of  State,— the  dulness  which  could  not  comprehend,  and 
the  malice  which  on  that  account  would  punish,  a  popular 
champion.  They  veered  quickly  round.  Other  missiles 
than  were  wont  to  greet  a  pillory  reached  De  Foe ;  and 
shouts  of  a  different  temper.     His  health  was  drunk' 

^  A  Tory  satirist  of  the  day  thus       **  All  round  him  Philistines  adoring 
refers  to  that  circumstance  :  stand, 


De  Foe.'\       behaviour  of  the  people.  lOeS 

with  acclamations  as  lie  stood  there ;  and  nothing  harder 
than  a  flower  was  flung  at  him.  "The  people  were 
"  expected  to  treat  me  very  ill,"  he  said ;  *'  but  it  was 
"  not  so.  On  the  contrary,  they  were  with  me  ;  wished 
"  those  who  had  set  me  there  were  placed  in  my  room ; 
"  and  expressed  their  afi'ections  by  loud  shouts  and  accla- 
"  mations  when  I  was  taken  down."  We  are  told  that 
garlands  covered  the  platform  where  he  stood ;  that  he 
saw  the  Hymn  passed  from  hand  to  hand ;  and  that, 
what  it  so  calmly  had  said,  he  heard  far  less  calmly 
repeated  from  angry  groups  that  stood  below. 

"  Tell  them  the  men  that  placed  him  here 
Are  scandals  to  the  times  ; 
Are  at  a  loss  to  find  his  guilt,  • 
And  can't  commit  his  crimes." 

A  witness  who  was  present,  in  short,  and  an  undeniably 
good  one,  being  himself  a  noted  Tory  libeller  of  the  day 
(Ned  Ward),  frankly  admits  this  "  lofty  Hymn  to  the 
"  wooden  rufi""  to  have  been  "to  the  law  a  counter-cuff; 
"  and  truly,  without  Whiggish  flattery,  a  plain  assault 
"  and  downright  battery."  Had  not  De  Foe  established 
his  right,  then,  to  stand  there  "Unabashed?"  Un- 
abashed by,  and  unabated  in  his  contempt  for.  Tyranny 
and  Dulness,  was  he  not  now  entitled  to  return  fearless 
— not  "earless,"  0  readers  of  the  Danciad!^ — to  his 
appointed  home  in  Newgate  ? 

And  keep  their  Dagon  safe   from  been  not  a  little  of  the  mere  fine 

Israel's  hand.  gentleman  in  the  attack.      De  Foe 

They,  dirt  themselves,  protected  him  was  not  in   "the  circles,"  and  did 

from  filth,  not  write  always  according  to  the 

And  for  the  faction's  money  drank  "  rules,"  and  it  was  to  be  under- 

his  health."  stood  that  the  fashionable  poet  kept 

,,,T,i  1-ij.j        vm       no  such  unfinished  company.     Even 

1   " Earless  on  hieh  stood  unabashd       ,,         ,        ,  ,.        j  "^  r  t 

P^    -p,  °  the  paternal  hnen-drapery  of  Lom- 

A    J    m  X  1  '•      x\  i.     r  i.u  bard  Street  may  have  rendered  him 

And    Tutchm    flagrant    from    the  .,  .,i.  ''  .    u    i       *.     i-  ..u 

,   ,     °„  the  more  willing  to  back  out  of  the 

scourge  below.  hosierly  neighbourhood  of  Cornhill. 

A  most  ungenerous  attack,  and  It  is,  however,  likewise  to  be  added 

very  wantonly  made.    It  is  possible,  that  Pope,  notwithstanding  the  real 

indeed,  that  in  addition  to  his  grudge  liberality  of  his  religious  opinions, 

against  the  assailant  of  Swift,  Pope  if  not  by  very  reason  of  it,  could 

may  have  resented  De  Foe's  attack  hardly  have  liked  the  bitterness  of 

on  Harcourt,  the  attorney-general,  De  Foe's  attacks  ou  his  kinsfolk  the 

who  was  an  intimate  friend  of  his  ;  Catholics. 
but  I  am  afraid  there  must  also  have 


l04  IMPRISONMENT   IN   NEWGATE.  [^Daniel 

A  home  of  no  unwise  experience  to  the  wise  ohserver. 
A  scene  of  no  unromantic  aspect  to  the  minute  and  careful 
painter.  It  is  a  common  reproach  to  the  memory  of 
WilHam  of  Orange,  that  literature  and  art  found  no 
encouragement  in  him ;  hut  let  us  rememher  that  Daniel 
De  Foe  and  David  Teniers  acknowledged  him  for  their 
warmest  friend.  There  is  higher  art,  and  higher  litera- 
ture ;  hut,  within  the  field  selected  by  both,  there  is  none 
more  exact  and  true.  The  war  of  politics,  however,  has 
not  yet  released  our  English  Teniers.  He  has  not  leisure 
yet  for  the  more  peaceful  "art  of  roguery."  It  is  to 
come  with  the  decline  of  life ;  when  that  which  mainly 
he  had  struggled  for  was  won,  and  the  prize  had  passed 
to  others. 

In  the  "Writings  he  now  rapidly  sent  forth  from  New- 
gate, we  think  we  see  something  of  what  we  may  call  the 
impatient  restlessness  of  martyrdom.  He  is  more  eager, 
than  was  perhaps  desirable,  to  proclaim  what  he  has 
done,  and  what  he  will  do.  We  can  fancy,  if  we  may 
so  express  it,  a  sort  of  reasonable  dislike  somewhat  un- 
reasonably conceived  against  him  now,  by  the  young  men 
of  letters  and  incipient  wits,  the  Mr.  Popes  and  the 
gentlemen  at  Will's,  with  whom  the  world  was  going 
easily.  His  utmost  address  might  seem  to  have  some 
offence  in  it;  his  utmost  liberality  to  contain  some 
bigotry  ;  his  best  offices  to  society  to  be  rendered  of 
doubtful  origin,  by  what  would  appear  a  sort  of  ever- 
lasting pragmaticalness  and  delight  in  finding  fault.  It 
is  natural,  all  this.  We  trample  upon  a  man,  plunder 
him,  imprison  him,  strive  to  make  him  infamous,  and 
then  we  wonder  if  he  is  only  the  more  hardened  in  his 
persuasion  that  he  has  a  much  better  case  than  ourselves. 
One  of  the  pirate  printers  of  the  day  took  advantage  of 
the  imprisoned  writer's  popularity  to  issue  the  Works  of 
the  Author  of  the  True-horn  Englishman ;  and  thought 
himself  grossly  ill-used,  because  the  Author  retorted  with 
a  charge  of  theft,  and  a  True  Collection  corrected  hy 
Himself  The  very  portrait  he  had  affixed  to  this  latter 
book  constituted  a  new  offence.  Here  was  a  large,  de- 
termined, resolute  face ;  and  here  was  a  lordly,  full- 
bottomed  wig  surmounting  it, — flowing  lower  than  the 
elbow,  and  rising  higher  than  the  forehead,  in  amazing 


De  Foe.'\         hard  literary  labour.        105 

amplitude  of  curl.  Here  was  riclily-laced  cravat ;  fine, 
loose,  flowing  cloak ;  and  surly,  substantial,  citizen  aspect. 
He  was  proud  of  this  portrait,  by  the  way,  and  complains 
of  that  of  the  pirate  volume  as  no  more  like  himself  than 
Sir  Roger  L'Estrange  was  like  the  dog  Touzer.  But,  was 
this  the  look  of  a  languishing  prisoner  ?  Was  this  an 
image  of  the  tyranny  complained  of  ?  Neither  Tutchin 
of  the  Ohservator,  nor  Leslie  of  the  Rehearsal,  could  bring 
himself  to  think  it.  So  they  found  some  rest  from  the 
assailing  of  each  other,  in  common  and  prolonged  assaults 
upon  De  Foe. 

He  did  not  spare  them  in  return.  He  wrote  satires ; 
he  wrote  polemics ;  he  wrote  politics  ;  he  discussed  occa- 
sional conformity  with  Dissenters,  and  the  grounds  of 
popular  right  with  Highfliers ;  he  wrote  a  famous  account 
of  the  Great  Storm  ;  he  took  part  in  the  boldest  questions 
of  Scotch  and  Irish  policy;  he  canvassed  with  daring 
freedom  the  measures  of  the  Court,  on  whose  pleasure  the 
opening  of  his  prison  doors  depended ;  he  argued  with 
admirable  force  and  wit  against  a  proposed  revival  of  the 
Censorship  of  the  Press  ;  he  put  the  claims  of  authors  to 
be  protected  in  their  Copyright  with  irresistible  force ; ' 

^  At  this  time,  though  the  author  **  hackney  abridgers  fill  the  world, 

possessed,    by  the  common  law,   a  "  the  first  with  spurio\is  and  incor- 

perpetual  right  to  his  copy,  the  law  "  rect  copies,  and  the  latter  with 

provided  him  with  no  means  of  en-  '*  imperfect  and  absurd  representa- 

forcing  his  right,  but  left  every  body  *' tions,   both   in   fact,    style,    and 

to  rob  and   plunder  him   as   they  **  design. 

pleased.     De  Foe  tells  us  in  forcible  *''Tis  in  vain  to  exclaim  at  the 

language,  and  with  a  striking  illus-  *'  villainy  of  these  practices,  while 

tration  from  his  own  case,  how  this  "  no  law  is  left  to   punish   them. 

"  liberty  of  the  press"  worked.  **  The  press  groans  under  the  un- 

"  The  scandalous  liberty  of  the  *'  happy  burthen,  and  yet  is  in  a 

"  press,   which  no  man  more  tlian  "  strait  between  two  mischiefs. 
"  myself  covets  to  see  rectified,   is  *'  1.   The  tyranny  of  a  licenser. 

*'  such  that  all  manner  of  property  **  This  in  all  ages  has  been  a  method 

"  seems  prosti'ated  to  the  avarice  of  "so  ill,  so  arbitrary,  and  so  sub- 
*'  some  people  ;  and  if  it  goes  on,  .     Ejected  to  bribery  and  parties,  that 

"  even  reading  itself  will  in   time  "  the  Government  has  thought  fit, 

*'  grow  intolerable.  "  in  justice  to  the  learned  part  of 

"  No  author  is  now  capable   of  **  the  world,  not  to  suffer  it  ;  since 

"  preserving  the  purity  of  his  style,  **  it  has  always  been  shutting  up  the 

"  no,  nor  the  native  product  of  his  "  press  to  one  side  and  opening  it 

"  thoughts  to  fiosterity  ;  since,  after  "to  the  other;    which,  as   affairs 

"  the  first  edition  of  his  work  has  "  are   in  England  often  changing, 

*'  shown  itself,  and  perhaps  sinks  in  **  has,  in  its  turn,  been  oppressive  to 

"  a  few  hands,  piratic  printers  or  "  both. 


106 


THOU    SHALT   NOT   STEAL. 


[Daniel 


and  finally  (on  tlie  19tli  February,  1704)  he  set  up  Ms 
Review. 

Its  plan  was  curious,  and,  at  that  time,  new  to  English, 
literature.  It  was  at  first  a  quarto  sheet,  somewhat 
widely  printed,  published  weekly,  and  sold  for  a  penny. 


"  2.  The  unbridled  liberty  of  in- 
vading each  other's  property ;  and 
this  is  the  evil  the  press  now  cries 
for  help  in. 

*'  To  let  it  go  on  thus,  will  in 
time  discourage  all  manner  of 
learning  ;  and  authors  will  never 
set  heartily  about  anything,  when 
twenty  years'  study  shall  immedi- 
ately be  sacrificed  to  the  profit  of 
a  piratical  printer,  who  not  only 
ruins  the  author,  but  abuses  the 
work. 

"  I  shall  trouble  myself  only  to 
give  some  instances  of  this  in  my 
own  case. 

"1,  As  to  abusing  the  copy,  the 
True-horn  Englishman  is  a  re- 
markable example,  by  which  the 
author,  though  in  it  he  eyed  no 
profit,  liad  he  been  to  enjoy  the 
profit  of  his  own  labour,  had 
gained  abou^  1 OOOZ ;  a  book  that, 
besides  nine  editions  of  the  au- 
thor, has  been  twelve  times  printed 
by  other  hands  ;  some  of  which 
have  been  sold  for  Id,  others  "Id, 
and  others  6^,  while  the  author's 
edition  being  fairly  printed,  and 
on  good  paper,  and  could  not  be 
sold  under  a  shilling.  Eighty 
thousand  of  the  small  ones  have 
been  sold  in  the  streets  for  2d  ot 
at  Id ;  and  the  author,  thus 
abused  and  discouraged,  had  no 
remedy  but  patience. 
* '  And  yet  he  had  received  no 
mortification  at  this,  had  his  copy 
been  transmitted  fairly  to  the 
world  ;  but  the  monstrous  abuses 
of  that  kind  are  hardly  credible. 
Twenty,  fifty,  in  some  places 
sixty  lines,  left  out  in  a  place  ; 
others  turned,  spoiled,  and  so 
intolerably  mangled,  that  the 
parent  of  the  brat  could  not  know 
■  his  own  child.     This  is  the  thing 


"  complained  of,  and  which  I  wait 
"  with  patience,  and  not  without 
"  hopes,  to  see  rectified." 

To  this  he  adds  other  illustrations 
of  a  similar  kind,  and  then  re- 
marks : 

"  It  may  be  inquired  here  how 
'  will  you  find  a  remedy  for  this 
'  mischief?  How  will  you  have 
'  the  drones  that  work  none,  but 
'  devour  the  labour  and  industry  of 
'  the  bees,  kept  out  of  the  hive  ? 

"  It  is  an  unhappiness  that,  in 
'  answering  this  point,  there  is  not 
'  difficulty  enough  either  to  excuse 

*  the  Government  in  letting  it  lie  so 
'  long  neglected,  or  to  procure  me 
'  any  reasonable  applause  for  the 
'  contrivance. 

' '  The  road  is  as  plain  as  the  table 
'  of  multiplication,  and  that  a  con- 

*  junction  of  parts  makes  an  addition 
'  of  quantity.  Two  short  clauses 
'  would  heal  all  these  evils,  would 
'  prevent  seditious  pamphlets,  1am- 
'  poons,    and  invectives  against  the 

*  Government,  or  at  least  prevent 
'  their  going  unpunished,  and  pre- 
'  serve  to  every  man  the  fruit  of  his 
'  own  labour  and  industry. 

''  First.  That  every  author  set 
'  his  name  to  what  he  writes,  and 
'  that  every  printer  or  publisher 
'  that  pi-ints  or  publishes  a  book 

*  without  it,  shall  be  deemed  the 
'  author,  and  answerable  for  the 
'  contents. 

"  Secondly.     That  no  man  shall 

*  print  another  man  s  copy  ;  or,  in 
'  English,  that  no  printer  or  book- 
'  seller  shall  rob  another  man's 
'  house  ;  for  it  really  is  no  better, 
'  nor  is  it  any  slander,  notwith- 
'  standing  the  aforesaid   pretence, 

*  to  call  it  by  that  title." 
Whether   or   not   De   Foe's  plan 

would  have  proved  effective,  needs 


De  Foe.']  the  review  started.  107 

After  the  fourtli  number,  it  was  reduced  to  half-a-sheet, 
and  sold  for  twopence,  in  smaller  print  and  with  double 
columns.  After  the  eighth  number,  it  was  published 
twice  a  week,  on  Tuesdays  and  Saturdays.  Before  the 
close  of  the  first  volume,  it  sent  forth  monthly  supple- 
ments. And  at  last  it  appeared  on  the  Tuesday,  Thurs- 
day, and  Saturday  of  every  week ;  and  so  continued, 
without  intermission,  and  written  solely  by  De  Foe,  for 
nine  years.  He  wrote  it  in  prison  and  out  of  prison  ; 
in  sickness  and  in  health.  It  did  not  cease  when  cir- 
cumstances called  him  from  England.  No  official 
employment  determined  it ;  no  politic  consideration  availed 
to  discontinue  it ;  no  personal  hostility,  or  party  censure, 
weighed  with  him  in  the  balance  against  it.  "As  to 
"  censure,"  he  exclaimed,  "  the  writer  expects  it.  He 
"  writes  to  serve  the  world,  not  to  please  it.  A  few  wise, 
"  calm,  disinterested  men,  he  always  had  the  good  hap 
"  to  please  and  satisfy.  By  their  judgment  he  desires 
"  still  to  be  determined ;  and,  if  he  has  any  pride,  it  is  that 
"  he  may  be  approved  by  such.  To  the  rest,  he  sedately 
"  says,  their  censure  deserves  no  notice."  So,  through  all 
the  vicissitudes  of  men  and  ministries,  from  1704  to  1713, 
amid  all  the  contentions  and  shouts  of  party,  he  kept  with 
this  homely  weapon  his  single-handed  way,  a  solitary 
watchman  at  the  portals  of  the  commonwealth.  Remark- 
able for  its  rich  and  various  knowledge,  its  humour,  its 
satire,  its  downright  hearty  earnestness,  it  is  a  yet  more 
surprising  monument  of  inexhaustible  activity  and  energy. 
It  seems  to  have  been  suggested  to  him,  in  the  first 
instance,  as  a  resource  against  the  uncertainties  of  his 


not  now  be  discussed.     Suffice  it  to  to  a  book  very  lately  published  by 

observe,    that  it  never  occurred  to  Mr.  Charles  Reade,  the  ^V(7 A/A  Co 7ri- 

him  to  provide  a  remedy  by  limiting  mandment.     Everyone  who  has   at 

the  author's  right  to  the  fraction  of  heart  the  interests  of  Literature  and 

time  afterwards  conceded   to  him  ;  its  professors,  or  who  desires  to  help 

though  he  was  fain  to  accept  even  in  removing  a  national  reproach  and 

that  concession,  wrung  forth  mainly  discredit,  should  read  a  book  which 

by  his  own  remonstrances,   as    an  in  both  respects  does  noble  service, 

improvement  on  the  existing  system.  It  is  full  of  thoughts  as  wise  and 

[If  the   reader  wishes  to  pursue  just  as  they  are   generous,   though 

the  subject  of  this   note  (which  I  not  perhaps   always  uttered  in  the 

may  be   excused  for   saying  that  I  wisest  way  ;  but  even  the  faults  of 

have  also  largely  illustrated  in  my  the  book  are  those  of  a  large-minded 

Life  of  Goldsmith),  let  me  refer  him  and  large-hearted  man.     18(iU.] 


108  A   NOVELTY   IN   PAMPHLETEERING.        \_Daniel 

imprisonment,  and  ttie  disastrous  effects  on  his  trade 
speculations  (he  had  lost  by  his  late  prosecution  more 
than  4000/) ;  and  there  is  no  doubt  it  assisted  him  in  the 
support  of  his  family  for  several  of  these  years.  But  he  had 
no  efficient  protection  against  the  continued  piracy  of  it. 
The  thieves  counted  it  by  thousands,  when  worthy  Mr. 
Matthews  the  publisher  could  only  render  account  for  hun- 
dreds ;  and  hence  the  main  and  most  substantial  profit  its 
writer  derived  from  all  the  anxiety  and  toil  it  cost  him, 
was  expressed  in  the  proud  declaration  of  one  of  its  latest 
lumbers.  "I  have  here  espoused  an  honest  interest, 
"  and  have  steadily  adhered  to  it  all  my  days.  I  never 
"  forsook  it  when  it  was  oppressed ;  never  made  a  gain 
"  by  it  when  it  was  advanced ;  and,  I  thank  God,  it  is 
"  not  in  the  power  of  all  the  Courts  and  Parties  in 
"  Christendom  to  bid  a  price  high  enough  to  buy  me  off 
"  from  it,  or  make  me  desert  it." 

The  arrangement  of  its  plan  was  not  less  original  than 
that  of  its  form.  The  path  it  struck  out  in  periodical 
literature  was,  in  this  respect,  entirely  novel.  It  classed 
the  lesser  and  the  larger  morals ;  it  mingled  personal  and 
public  themes ;  it  put  the  gravities  of  life  in  an  enter- 
taining form ;  and  at  once  it  discussed  the  politics,  and 
corrected  the  vices,  of  the  age.  We  may  best  indicate  the 
manner  in  which  this  was  done,  by  naming  rapidly  the 
subjects  treated  in  the  first  volume,  in  addition  to  those 
of  political  concern.  It  condemned  the  fashionable  prac- 
tice of  immoderate  drinking  ;  in  various  ways  it  ridiculed 
the  not  less  fashionable  habit  of  swearing ;  it  inveighed 
against  the  laxity  of  marital  ties ;  it  exposed  the  licentious- 
ness of  the  stage ;  it  discussed,  with  great  clearness  and 
sound  knowledge,  questions  affecting  trade  and  the  poor; 
it  laughed  at  the  rage  for  gambling  speculations;  and  it 
waged  inveterate  war  with  that  barbarous  practice  of  the 
duel,  in  which  De  Foe  had  to  confess,  with  shame,  that  he 
had  once  during  his  life  been  engaged.  Its  machinery  for 
matters  non-political  was  a  so-called  Scandalous  Club,  or- 
ganised to  hear  complaints,  and  entrusted  with  the  power 
of  deciding  them.  We  will  show  how  it  acted.  A  gen- 
tleman appears  before  the  Club,  and  complains  of  his 
wife.  She  is  a  bad  wife ;  he  cannot  exactly  tell  why. 
There  is  a  long  examination,  proving  nothing;    when 


De  Foe.']  the  tatler  anticipated.  109 

suddenly  a  member  of  the  Club  begs  pardon  for  the  ques- 
tion, and  asks  if  his  worship  was  a  good  husband.  His 
worship,  greatly  surprised  at  such  a  question,  is  again  at 
a  loss  to  answer.  Whereupon  the  Club  pass  three  reso- 
lutions. 1.  That  most  women  that  are  bad  wives  are 
made  so  by  bad  husbands.  2.  That  this  society  will 
hear  no  complaints  against  a  virtuous  bad  wife  from  a 
vicious  good  husband.  3.  That  he  that  has  a  bad  wife, 
and  can't  find  the  reason  of  it  in  her,  ^tis  ten  to  one 
that  he  finds  it  in  himself.  And  the  decision  finally  is, 
that  the  gentleman  is  to  go  home,  and  be  a  good  husband 
for  at  least  three  months ;  after  which,  if  his  wife  is  still 
uncured,  they  will  proceed  against  her  as  they  shall  find 
cause.  In  this  way,  pleas  and  defences  are  heard  on  the 
various  points  that  present  themselves  in  the  subjects 
named ;  and  not  seldom  with  a  lively  dramatic  interest. 
The  graver  arguments  and  essays,  too,  have  an  easy 
homely  vigour,  a  lightness  and  pleasantry  of  tone,  very 
diff'erent  from  the  ponderous  handling  peculiar  to  the 
Eidpaths  and  the  Dyers,  the  Tutchins  and  the  Leslies. 
We  open  at  an  essay  on  Trade,  which  would  delight  Mr. 
Cobden  himself.  De  Foe  is  arguing  against  impolitic 
restrictions.  We  think  to  plague  the  foreigner,  he  says; 
and  in  reality  we  but  deprive  ourselves.  "If  you  vex 
"  me,  I'll  eat  no  dinner,  said  I,  when  I  was  a  little  boy : 
"  till  my  mother  taught  me  to  be  wiser  by  letting  me 
"  stay  till  I  was  hungry." 

The  reader  will  remember  the  time  when  this  Review 
was  planned.  Ensign  Steele  was  yet  but  a  lounger  in 
the  lobbies  of  the  theatres,  and  Addison  had  not  emerged 
from  his  garret  in  the  Haymarket.  The  details  of  common 
life  had  not  yet  been  invested  with  the  graces  of  litera- 
ture, the  social  and  polite  moralities  were  still  disregarded 
in  the  press,  the  world  knew  not  the  influence  of  my 
Lady  Betty  Modish,  and  Colonel  Ranter  still  swore  at 
the  waiters.  Where,  then,  shall  we  look  for  "  the  first 
"  sprightly  runnings "  of  Tatlers  and  Spectators,  if  we 
have  not  found  them  in  De  Foe's  Revieic  ?  The  earlier 
was  indeed  the  ruder  workman :  but  wit,  originality,  and 
knowledge  were  not  less  the  tools  he  worked  with  ;  and 
the  latter  "two-penny  authors,"  as  Mr.  Dennis  is  pleased 
to  caU  them,  found  the  way  well  struck  out  for  their 


110  CHANGES   IN   THE    GOVERNMENT.  \_Daniel 

finer  and  more  delicate  art.  What  had  been  done  for 
the  citizen  classes,  they  were  to  do  for  the  beauties  and 
the  wits.  They  had  watched  the  experiment,  and  seen 
its  success.  The  Review  was  enormously  popular.  It 
was  stolen,  pirated,  hawked  about  everywhere  ;  and  the 
writer,  with  few  of  the  advantages,  paid  all  the  penalties 
of  success.  He  complains  that  his  name  was  made  "  the 
"  hackney  title  of  the  times."  Hardly  a  penny  or  two- 
penny pamphlet  was  afterwards  cried  in  the  streets,  or  a 
broadside  put  forth  appealing  to  the  people,  to  which  the 
scurrilous  libeller,  or  witless  dunce,  had  not  forged  that 
popular  name.  Nor  was  it  without  its  influence  on  the 
course  of  events  which  now  gradually  changed  the  aspect 
and  the  policy  of  Godolphin's  government.  De  Foe  has 
claimed  for  himself  large  share  in  preparing  a  way  for 
what  were  called  the  "modern  Whigs;"  and  the  claim 
was  undoubtedly  well  founded. 

IS^ottingham  and  Rochester  had  resigned;    and   the 
great  House  of  Commons  tactician  was  now  a  member  of 
the  government.      The  seals   of  the  Home   and   War 
offices  had  been  given  to  Harley  and  his  friend  Henry 
St.  John.    The  Lord-Treasurer  could  not  yet  cross  boldly 
to  the  Whigs,  and  he  would  not  creep  back  to  the  Tories; 
but  to  join  with  Robert  Harley  was  to  do  neither  of  these 
things.     This  famous  person  appears  to  us  to  have  been 
the  nearest  representative  of  what  we  might  call  the 
practical  spirit  of  the  Eevolution,   of  any  who  lived  in 
that  age.      In  one  of  his  casual  sayings,  reported  by 
Pope,  we  seem  to  find  a  clue  to  his  character.    Some  one 
had  observed  of  a  measure  proposed,  that  the  people 
would  never  bear  it :    "  None  of  us,"  replied  Harley, 
"  know  how  far  the  good  people  of  England  will  bear." 
All  his  life  he  was  engaged  in  attempts  upon  that  problem. 
If  he  had  thought  less  of  the  good  people  of  England,  he 
would  have  been  a  less  able,  a  more  daring,  and  certainly 
a  more  successful  statesman.     We  do  not  think  he  was  a 
Trimmer,  in  the  ordinary  sense  of  the  word.     When  he 
went  to  church,  and  sent  his  family  to  the  meeting-house, 
— when,  upon  asking  a  clergyman  to  his  Sunday  table, 
he  was  careful  to  provide  a  clergyman  "  of  another  sort " 
to  meet  him, — we  should  try  to  find  a  better  word  for  it, 
if  we  would  not  find  a  worse  for  the  Revolution.     The 


De  Foe.~\  character  of  harley.  Ill 

Revolution  trimined  between  two  parties ;  and  the  Revo- 
lution, to  this  day,  is  but  the  grand  unsolved  experiment 
of  how  much  the  people  of  England  will  bear.  To  call 
Harley  a  mere  court  intriguer,  is  as  preposterous  as  to 
call  him  a  statesman  of  commanding  genius.  He  had 
less  of  mere  courtliness  than  any  of  his  colleagues.  The 
fashionable  French  dancing-master  who  wondered  what 
the  devil  the  Queen  should  have  seen  in  him  to  make 
him  an  Earl  and  Lord-Treasurer,  for  he  had  attended 
him  two  years,  and  never  taught  such  a  dunce, — gives 
us  a  lively  notion  of  his  homely,  bourgeois  manners. 
Petticoat  politics  are  to  be  charged  against  him  ;  but,  to 
no  one  who  thoroughly  knew  the  Queen  can  it  be 
matter  of  severe  reproach,  that  he  was  at  the  pains  to 
place  Abigail  Hill  about  her  person.  He  knew  the 
impending  doTvnifall  of  Marlborough's  too  imperious  wife; 
and  was  he  to  let  slip  a  power  so  plainly  within  his  grasp, 
and  see  it  turned  against  him?  His  success  in  the  Bed- 
chamber never  shook  his  superior  faith  in  the  agencies  of 
Parliament  and  the  Press.  These  two  were  the  levers 
of  the  Revolution ;  and  they  are  memorably  associated 
with  the  Government  of  Robert  Harley. 

As  soon  as  he  joined  Godolphin,  he  seems  to  have 
turned  his  thoughts  to  De  Foe.  He  was  not,  indeed, 
the  first  who  had  done  so.  More  than  one  attempt  had 
been  already  made  to  capitulate  with  that  potent  prisoner. 
Two  lords  had  gone  to  him  in  Newgate !  exclaims  Old- 
mixon ;  in  amaze  that  one  lord  should  find  his  way  to  such 
a  place.  He  says  the  same  thing  himself,  in  the  witty  nar- 
rative at  the  close  of  the  Consolidator.  But  these  lords 
carried  conditions  with  them  ;  and  there  is  a  letter  in  the 
British  Museum  (Addit.  MS.  7421),  wherein  DeFoe  writes 
to  Lord  Halifax,  that  he  ''  scorned  to  come  out  of  JN'ewgate 
*•  at 'the  price  of  betraying  a  dead  master.''  Harley 
made  no  conditions,  for  that  was  not  his  way :  he  sent  to 
Mr.  De  Foe  because  he  was  a  man  of  letters,  and  in 
distress.  His  message  was  "  by  word  of  mouth ; "  and  to 
this  effect — "  Pray,  ask  Mr.  De  Foe  what  I  can  do  for 
"  him."  Nor  was  the  reply  less  characteristic.  The 
prisoner  took  a  piece  of  paper,  and  wrote  the  parable  of 
the  blind  man  in  the  Gospel.  *'  I  am  blind,  and  yet  ask 
"  me  what  thou  shalt  do  for  me  !     My  answer  is  plain  in 


112  RELEASE    FROM   NEWGATE.  [Datliel 

"  my  misery.  Lord,  that  I  may  receive  my  sight ! " 
What  else  could  such  a  man  wish  for  but  his  liberty  ? 
Yet  four  months  passed  before  a  further  communication 
reached  him.  It  seemed  to  imply  reluctance  in  a  higher 
quarter.  Within  four  months,  however,  "  her  Majesty 
"  was  pleased  particularly  to  inquire  into  my  circum- 
"  stances,  and  by  my  Lord-Treasurer  Godolphin  to  send 
"  a  considerable  supply  to  my  wife  and  family ;  and  to 
"  send  to  me  the  prison-money,  to  pay  my  fine  and  the 
*'  expenses  of  my  discharge." 

He  was  released  in  August  1704.  His  health  had  then 
become  shattered  by  his  long  confinement.  He  took  a 
house  at  Bury  in  Suffolk,  and  lived  there  a  little  while 
retired.  But  his  pen  did  not  rest ;  nor  could  he  retire 
from  the  notoriety  that  followed  him,  or  from  other  pen- 
alties of  that  public  service  which  he  still  continued 
fearlessly  to  discharge.  Luttrell  records  in  his  Diary 
(under  date  of  the  26th  Sept.  1704)  that  "  it's  said, 
"  Daniel  De  Foe  is  ordered  to  be  taken  into  custody  for 
"  reflecting  on  Admiral  Rooke,  in  his  Master  Mercury, 
"  whereby  he  has  forfeited  his  recognisance  for  his  good 
**  behaviour."  His  name  also,  to  papers  he  had  not 
written,  continued  to  be  hawked  about  the  London 
streets ;  and  it  was  reported,  and  had  to  be  formally 
denied,  that  he  had  escaped  from  Newgate  by  a  trick. 
Then  came  the  exciting  news  that  Blenheim  was  won, 
France  humbled,  Europe  saved ;  and  De  Foe,  in  a  Hymn 
to  Victory,  verses  of  no  great  merit,  but  which  cost  him 
only  "  three  hours  *'  to  compose,  gave  public  utterance  to 
his  joy.'  Then,  the  dry  unlettered  Lord-Treasurer  went 
in  search  of  the  most  graceful  wit  among  the  Whigs,  to 
get  advice  as  to  some  regular  poet  who  might  properly 

^  Among  the  extremely  few  letters  **  wonderful  times"  they  are  living 
of  De  Foe  that  have  survived,  out  in,  refers  to  his  poem  on  The  Vic- 
of  the  not  very  many  he  is  likely  tory,  and  mentions  some  fifty  books 
to  have  written  (he  was  too  busy  a  that  had  been  forwarded.  He  makes 
man  for  a  voluminous  letter-writer),  allusion  also,  in  the  later  note,  to 
I  have  seen  two  brief  notes  of  which  his  Jure  Divino,  to  the  circulation 
one  belongs  to  this  date,  and  one  of  the  i^eriVu',  and  to  the  un  warrant- 
to  a  year  later,  addressed  to  a  Mr.  able  advertisement  for  his  arrest 
Elisha.  To  this  correspondent,  who  {ante,  p.  99),  of  which  his  numer- 
■was  probably  one  of  the  agents  em-  ous  enemies  were  still  making  pro- 
ployed  by  him  in  the  sale  or  circu  la-  fitable  use  as  a  battery  of  assault 
tion  of  his  writings,  he  speaks  of  the  against  him. 


De  Foe.'\        letters  to  lord  Halifax.  113 

celebrate  the  Captain- General.  Then  HaKfax  brought 
down  Addison  from  his  garret ;  the  Campaign  was  ex- 
changed for  a  comfortable  Government  salary ;  and 
communications  were  at  the  same  time  opened  again, 
upon  the  same  suggestion,  with  De  Foe.  Two  letters  of 
this  date,  from  himself  to  Halifax,  have  escaped  his 
biographers.  In  the  first,  he  is  grateful  for  that  lord's 
unexpected  goodness,  in  mentioning  him  to  my  Lord- 
Treasurer  ;  but  would  be  well-pleased  to  wait  till  Halifax 
is  himself  in  power.  He  speaks  of  a  Government  com- 
munication concerning  "  paper  credit,"  which  he  is  then 
handling  in  his  Review.  He  regrets  that  some  proposal 
his  lordship  had  sent,  "exceeding  pleasant  for  me  to 
"  perform,  as  well  as  useful  to  be  done,"  had  been  so 
blundered  by  the  messenger  that  he  could  not  under- 
stand it ;  and  from  this  we  get  a  glimpse  of  a  person 
hitherto  unnamed  in  his  history, — a  brother,  a  stupid 
fellow.  In  the  second  letter  he  acknowledges  the  praise 
and  favours  of  Lord  Halifax  :  and  thus  manfully  declares 
the  principle  on  which  his  own  services  are  offered.  "  If 
"  to  be  encouraged  in  giving  myself  up  to  that  service 
"  your  lordship  is  pleased  so  much  to  overvalue  ;  if  going 
*'  on  with  the  more  cheerfulness  in  being  useful  to,  and 
"  promoting,  the  general  peace  and  interest  of  this  nation; 
"  if  to  the  last  vigorously  opposing  a  stupid,  distracted 
*'  party,  that  are  for  ruining  themselves  rather  than  not 
"  destroy  their  neighbours  ;  if  this  be  to  merit  so  much 
*'  regard,  your  lordship  binds  me  in  the  most  durable,  and 
"  to  me  the  most  pleasant  engagement  in  the  world, 
"  because  'tis  a  service  that,  with  my  gratitude  to  your 
"  lordship,  keeps  an  exact  unison  with  my  reason,  my 
"  principle,  my  inclinations,  and  the  duty  every  man 
"  owes  to  his  country,  and  his  posterity." 

Harley  was  at  this  time  in  daily  communication  with 
Halifax,  and  very  probably  saw  these  letters ;  but  he  was 
a  man  who  managed  all  things  warily,  and  who,  even  in 
dealing  with  the  press,  knew  the  value  of  the  delicacies. 
He  had  not  appeared  in  De  Foe's  affairs  since  he  effected 
his  release :  and  that  release  he  threw  upon  the  Queen. 
In  the  same  temper  he  sent  to  him  now.  The  Queen,  he 
said,  had  need  of  his  assistance ;  but  he  offered  him  no 
employment  to  fetter  future  engagements.   He  knew  that 


114  INTERCOURSE   WITH   HARLEY.  [^Daniel 

in  tlie  last  of  his  publications  (tlie  Consolidator,  a  prose 
satire,  remarkable  for  tlie  hints  it  threw  out  to  Gulliver) , 
De  Foe  had  laughed  at  Addison'  for  refusing  to  write  the 
Campaign  "  till  he  had  200/.  a  year  secured  to  him  ;  " — 
an  allusion  never  forgiven.  Harley  was  content,  there- 
fore, simply  to  send  for  him  to  London ;  to  tell  him  the 
Queen  *'  had  the  goodness  to  think  of  taking  him  into 
"  her  service ; "  and  to  do  what  the  Whigs  were  vainly 
endeavouring  to  do  for  the  Irish  Priest  who  had  written 
the  most  masterly  satire  since  the  days  of  Eabelais.  He 
took  him  to  Court  to  kiss  hands.  "We  see  in  all  this  but 
the  truth  of  the  character  we  would  assign  to  this  so 
variously  estimated  statesman.  On  grounds  independent 
of  either  party,  except  so  far  as  "  reason,  principle,  in- 
"  clinations,  and  duty  to  his  country  "  should  prompt,  the 
powerful,  homely,  and  popular  writer  had  thus  quietly 
and  surely  been  enlisted  in  the  service  of  the  Govern- 
ment of  the  Revolution.  Compared  with  Harley,  we 
cannot  but  think  the  old  Whigs,  with  every  honest  in- 
clination, little  better  than  bunglers  in  matters  of  the 
kind.  It  is  true  that  not  even  Harley  could  carry  the 
Yicar  of  Laracor  to  the  palace  ;  but  he  might  show  that 
he  understood  why  Swift  wished  to  be  there,  and  might 
conciliate  that  weakness  in  his  character.  He  could  carry 
him  in  his  coach  to  country  ale-houses ;  he  could  play 
games  of  counting  poultry  on  the  road,  or  "  who  should 
"  first  see  a  cat  or  an  old  woman  ; "  he  could  loll  back 
on  his  seat  with  a  broad  Temple  jest ;  or  he  could  caU 
and  be  called  "  Jonathan  "  and  "  Harley  ; " — and  the 
old  Whigs  were  much  too  chary  of  these  things.  So 
they  had  lost  Prior,  and  were  losing  Parnell  and  Swift  ; 
and  he  who  had  compared  Lord  Somers  to  Aristides,  was 
soon  to  talk  of  him  as  little  better  than  a  rascal. 

We  next  see  De  Foe  in  the  house  of  Mr.  Secretary 
Harley.  He  has  been  named  to  execute  a  secret  com- 
mission in  the  public  service,  which  requires  a  brief 
absence  on  the  Continent.  He  is  making  preparations 
for  his  departure ;  is  proposing  to  travel  as  *'  Mr.  Chris- 

^  In  his  verses  of  Do«&Ze  TTeZcowie  "  Mecaenas  has  his  modem  fancy- 
to  the  Duke  of  Marlborough  he  has  strung — 

also  a  sarcastic  allusion  to  Addison,  You  fix'd  his  pension  first,  or  he  had 

when  he  speaks  of  the  way  in  which  never  sung." 


De  Foe.~\  electioneering.  115 

"  topher  Hurt ;  *'  is  giving  Harley  advice  for  a  large 
scheme  of  secret  intelligence ;  and  is  discussing  with  him 
a  proposed  poetical  satire  (afterwards  published  as  the 
Diet  of  Polandy  against  the  High  Church  faction.  In  a 
subsequent  farewell  letter  he  adverts  to  these  things ; 
and,  after  naming  some  matters  of  public  feeling  in 
which  one  of  the  minister's  Tory  associates  was  awk- 
wardly involved,  characteristically  closes  with  an  opinion, 
that  it  was  needful  Harley  should  know  in  this,  as  well 
as  anything  else,  what  the  people  say. 

The  foreign  service  was  one  of  danger.    '^  I  ran  as  much 
"  danger  of  my  life,"  he  said,  "  as  a  grenadier  upon  the 
"  counterscarp."  But  it  was  discharged  successfully;  and, 
in  consideration  of  the  risk,  the  Government  offered  him 
what  seems  to  have  been  a  small  sinecure.    He  took  it  as 
a  debt ;  and  at  a  later  period,  when  opposed  to  the  reign- 
ing Ministry,  complains  that   large  arrears  were  then 
unpaid.     On  his  return  he  had  found  the  Tory  House  of 
Commons  dissolved,  and  the  new  elections  in  progress. 
He  threw  himself  into  the  contest  with  characteristic 
ardour.     He  wrote;  he  canvassed;  he  voted;  he  jour- 
neyed throughout  the  country  on  horseback,  he  tells  us, 
more  than  eleven  hundred  miles ;  and,  in  addresses  to  elec- 
tors everywhere,  still  he  counselled  the  necessity  of  laying 
aside  party  prejudices,   of  burying   former  animosities, 
and  of  meeting  their  once  Tory  ministers  at  least  half- 
way.    He  found  many  arguments  on  his  road,  he  adds. 
He  found  people  of  all  opinions,  as  well  Churchmen  as 
Dissenters,  living  in  Christian  neighbourhood ;  and  he 

^  There  are  excellent  lines  in  this  Are  always  cheated,  oftentimes  un- 
Diet  of  Poland,  of  which  a  great  part  done, 

satirizes,  under  cover  of  the  factions  Besieged  with  flattery,  false  report, 
against  Sobieski,  the  character  of  the  and  lies, 

party  intrigues  against  William  III.  And  soothed  with  schemes  of  vast 
One  might   expect  to  meet  in  the  absurdities. 

Satires  of  Churchill  such  a  passage  as  The  jangling  statesmen  clash  in  their 
I  here  subjoin  : 


Fraud  fights  with  fraud,  and  craft 

"Statesmen  are  gamesters,    sharp  to  craft  inclines  ; 

and  trick's  the  play.  Stiffly  engage,  quarrel,  accuse,  and 

Kings  are  but  cullies,  wheedled  in  to  hate, 

pay  ;  And  strive  for  leave  to  help  undo 

The  Courtiers  footballs,  kick'd  from  the  State." 

one  to  one, 


116  PENALTIES  OF  POPULARITY.  \_Daniel 

had  very  often  the  honour,  "  with  small  difficulty,  of  con- 
"  vincing  gentlemen  over  a  bottle  of  wine,  that  the  author 
"  of  the  Review  was  really  no  monster,  but  a  conversable, 
"  social  creature/*  His  Essays,  meanwhile,  written  in 
the  progress  of  this  journeying,  were  admirable ;  and 
with  every  paper  that  he  wrote,  to  use  his  own  language. 
Rehearsals  raved,  Ohservators  bullied,  and  High  Church 
not  only  voted  him  to  the  Devil  but  exhibited  him  in 
that  companionship.  I  possess  a  curious  tract  entitled, 
*'  Daniel  De  Foe  and  the  Devil  at  Leapfrog,  Being  a 
"  Dialogue  which  passed  between  them  as  they  were 
"  recreating  themselves  at  that  Sport  in  an  eminent 
*'  Tavern  in  Cheapside,''  ^  which  for  the  character  and 
degree  of  its  abuse  is  perfectly  astounding ;  but  which 
yet  is  valuable  for  the  evidence  it  unconsciously  bears  to 
the  extraordinary  popularity  of  his  Reviews.  They  were 
read  in  every  cofi'ee-house  and  club ;  often  they  were 
stolen  from  these  houses  by  Highfliers,  that  they  might 
not  be  read ;  they  were  quoted  on  every  popular  hustings ; 
the  Duchess  of  Marlborough  sent  them  over  to  the  camp 
in  Flanders ;  *  and  the  writer,  on  peril  of  his  life,  was 
warned  to  discontinue  them.  His  tributes  of  this  latter 
kind  were  numerous.  He  had  to  change  his  publisher, 
Mr.  Matthews,  a  set  of  high  churchmen  having  conspired 
to  clap  him  into  prison  ;  his  printer  was  threatened  ;  his 
own  house  was  marked  to  be  pulled  down ;  he  was  beset 
and  dogged  by  adversaries  armed  for  personal  violence. 

^  It  is  adorned  by  a  large  -wood-  did)  by  taking  the  Devil,  from  his 
cut  representing  De  Foe,  bis  hat  and  domineering,  to  be  a  "High  Church- 
ample  wig  on  the  ground,  "making  "  man  or  a  Player." 
"aback"  in  the  centre,  with  the  ^  Acknowledging  one  in  which  he 
Devil  preparing  to  leap  on  one  is  himself  gallantly  vindicated,  the 
side,  and  on  the  other  a  highly  Duke  writes  to  the  Duchess,  "  I  do 
dressed  lively  gentleman  looking  "  not  know  who  the  author  of  the 
on,  whom  we  discover  to  be  Pin-  "  Eevieivis,  but  I  do  not  like  to  see 
kethman  the  actor.  "  Make  a  fair  "  my  name  in  print ;  for  I  am  per- 
"  back,  David,"  cries  the  Devil.  "  suaded  that  an  honest  man  must 
*'I  do,  don't  I,  Pinkethman?"  "  be  justified  by  his  own  actions, 
says  De  Foe.  "No,  you  cheating  "and  not  by  the  pen  of  a  writer, 
"  Dog,"  replies  Pinkethman,  "you  "though  he  should  be  a  zealous 
"don't!"  The  epithets  hurled  at  "friend."  To  which  I  will  venture 
De  Foe,  in  the  course  of  the  dia-  to  reprint  the  brief  comment  which 
logue,  might  do  credit  to  even  a  I  find  affixed  to  this  passage  in  my 
Devil's  vocabulary  ;  while  De  Foe  in  copy  of  Wilson's  De  Foe.  —  Non- 
return seems  to  tliink  he  hits  hard  sense  ;  he  was  afraid  he  would  have 
enough  (which  in  all  probability  he  to  pay  something. 


T)e  Foe.'\  a  true  englishman.  117 

Highflying  Justices  followed  him  about  the  country  with 
false  warrants  of  arrest;  sham  actions  were  brought 
against  him  in  shoals;  compounded  debts  of  long  past 
years  were  revived ;  his  life  was  threatened  by  bullying 
letters,  his  morals  were  assaulted  by  impotent  and 
groundless  slanders,  his  principles  were  misrepresented 
alike  by  professing  friends  and  malicious  enemies,  and 
only  his  own  unequalled  and  irresistible  energy  could 
have  stayed  the  completion  of  his  ruin.  But  no  jot  of 
heart  or  hope  was  abated  in  him.  "  Take  him  with  all 
''  his  failings,"  says  no  friendly  critic,  "  it  must  be  ac- 
"  knowledged  that  he  is  a  man  of  good  parts,  and  very 
"  clear  sense.  He  is  master  of  the  English  tongue,  and 
"  can  say  what  he  pleases  upon  any  subject.  With  all 
"  my  revenge,  I  cannot  but  own  his  thoughts  are  always 
"  surprising,  new,  and  singular :  and  though  he  writes 
"for  bread,  he  could  never  be  hired  to  wrong  his  con- 
"  science  or  disgrace  the  quill :  and,  which  crowns  his 
"  panegyric,  he  is  a  person  of  true  courage.  He  is  not 
"  daunted  with  multitudes  of  enemies ;  for  he  faces  as 
"  many  every  Tuesday,  Thursday,  and  Saturday,  as 
'^  there  are  foes  to  moderation  and  peace.  He  Hevietcs 
"■  without  fear,  and  acts  without  fainting.  To  do  him 
"  justice,  he  has  piety  enough  for  an  author,  and  courage 
"  enough  for  a  martyr.  And  in  a  word,  if  any,  Daniel 
**  De  Foe  is  a  True  Englishman."  It  was  an  honest 
opponent  of  his,  eccentric  old  John  Dunton,  who  said 
that,  and  honoured  himself  by  saying  it. 

The  elections  confirmed  the  power  of  the  Whigs.  The 
Duke  of  Buckingham  and  Sir  Nathan  Wright  retired  to 
make  way  for  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  and  Lord  Cowper ; 
and  a  renegade  Whig  and  former  Dissenter,  Lord  Haver- 
sham,  led  the  first  attack  upon  the  ministers.  De  Foe 
was  dragged  forward  by  this  lord  as  the  *'mean  and 
"  mercenary  prostitute  of  the  Bevietv  ;'*  as  making  his 
fortune  by  the  way  of  "  scribbling ;"  and  as  receiving 
both  "  encouragement  and  instructions  "  from  Godolphin. 
There  was  a  quiet  dignity  and  eloquence  in  his  answer. 
He  reminds  the  turncoat  peer  that  Fate,  which  makes 
footballs  of  men,  kicks  some  men  up  stairs  and  some 
down ;  that  some  are  advanced  without  honour,  others 
suppressed  without  infamy  ;  that  some  are  raised  without 


118  WRITING   FOR    BREAD   DEFENDED.        [^Daniel 

merit,  some  crushed  without  crime ;  and  that  no  man 
knows,  by  the  beginning  of  things,  whether  his  course 
shall  issue  in  a  peerage  or  a  pillory.  To  the  charge  of 
writing  for  bread,  he  asks  what  are  all  the  employments 
in  the  world  pursued  for,  but  for  bread  ?  The  lawyer 
"  pleads,  the  soldier  fights,  the  musician  fiddles,  the 
"  players  act,  and,  no  reflection  on  the  tribe,  the  clergy 
"  preach,  for  bread."  ^  For  the  rest  he  reminds  him  that 
he  had  never  betrayed  his  master  (William  had  given 
Lord  Haversham  his  peerage),  nor  his  friend ;  that  he 
had  always  espoused  the  cause  of  truth  and  liberty ;  that 
he  had  lived  to  be  ruined  for  it ;  that  he  had  lived  to  see 
it  triumph  over  tyranny,  party  rage,  and  persecution 
principles ;  that  he  thanked  God  this  world  had  not  a 
price  to  give,  sufficient  to  bribe  him  from  it ;  and  that  he 
ivas  sorry  to  see  any  man  abandon  it. 

Besides  the  Review,  he  had  published,  in  the  current 
year,  works  on  Trade  ;  on  the  conduct  and  management 
of  the  Poor  ;  on  Toleration  ;  and  on  colonial  Intolerance 
in  North  America.  It  would  be  difficult  to  name  a  more 
soundly  reasoned  or  shrewdly  written  pamphlet  than  his 
Giving  Alms  no  Charity.  Yet  he  knew  what  then  he  had 
to  contend  with,  in  dealing  with  a  subject  so  imperfectly 
understood.  His  judgment  may  differ  from  that  of 
others  in  giving  some  needful  hints  as  to  the  state  of 
our  poor,  he  says,  but  he  must  be  plain.  "  While  he 
*'  is  no  enemy  to  charity-hospitals  and  workhouses,  he 
"  thinks  that  methods  to  keep  our  poor  out  of  them  far 
"  exceed,  both  in  prudence  and  charity,  all  the  settlements 
"  and  endeavours  in  the  world  to  maintain  them  there." 
Especially  did  he  claim  to  be  heard  on  that  subject,  he 

^  It  is  a  remarkable  fact,  neverthe-  promoting    public  morals  and    the 

less,  that,  for  a  great  part  of  the  time  public  service.     "  I  defy  the  whole 

during  which  he  was  carrying  on  the  "  world  to  prove,"  he  said  at  this 

Review,  De  Foe  derived  no  personal  particular    time,     "  that    I    have 

profit  from  it.     Such  income  as  ac-  "directly  or  indirectly  gained   or 

crued  to  him  was  drawn  still  from  the  "  received  a  single  shilling,  or  the 

remains  of  his  mercantile  specula-  ' '  value  of  it,  by  the  sale  of  this 

tions  ;  and  he  continued  the  labours  "  paper,  for  now  almost  four  years  ; 

and   sacrifices     which    the    Review  *'  and  honest  Mr,    Morphew  is  able 

involved,    *'  amassing  infinite  ene-  "  to  detect  me  if  I   speak  false." 

**mies,"ashe  remarks,    "and  not  Mr.  Morphew   had   succeeded   Mr. 

"at   all   obliging  even  the  men  I  Matthews  as  its  publisher, 
"serve,"  for    the    sole  reward   of 


De  Foe."]  "jure  diyino."  119 

added,  as  an  English  freeholder.  His  town  tenements 
had  been  taken  from  him,  the  Tilbury  works  were  gone, 
and  the  Freeman's-yard  house  was  his  no  longer, — but 
he  still  possessed  one  English  freehold.  He  does  not  tell 
us  in  what  county  (towards  the  close  of  his  life  he  was  in 
possession  of  a  small  freehold  in  Essex)  ;  but  he  had 
moved  his  family  to  Newington,  and  it  may  have  been 
in  some  way  connected  with  that  scene  of  his  boyhood. 
To  this  date,  also,  belong  several  pamphlets  on  Dissenters' 
questions ;  his  attempted  enforcement  of  a  better  scheme 
for  the  Regulation  of  Madhouses,  and  for  humanity  to 
their  inmates  ;  and  his  Jure  Divino.  In  the  latter,  the 
reasoning  is  better  than  the  poetry  ;  but  it  has  vigorous 
verses  in  it,  and  its  rude  strong  lines  passed  current 
Tsith  great  masses  of  the  people.  It  appeared  with  a  large 
subscription,*  and  such  was  the  certainty  that  its  author 
would  be  worth  plundering,  that  the  whole  satire  was  im- 
pudently pirated  on  the  very  day  of  its  pubKcation.  Now, 
too,  there  went  to  him  that  worthy  and  much  distressed 
bookseller,  who  had  published  a  large  edition  of  a  very 
dull  and  heavy  book,  called  Drelincourt  on  Death,  "  with 
several  directions  how  to  prepare  ourselves  to  die  well ;" 
which  the  public,  not  appearing  to  relish  unauthorised 

1  As  to   which,  let  me  add,    De  ' '  taine  Book  called  Jure  Divine,  a 

Foe's  ruthless  and  inveterate  anta-  "  Satyr  on  Passive  Obedience,  &c, 

gonists  took  advantage  of  a  brief  and  "  and  now  for  that  he  has  got  the 

not  unusual  delay  in  its  publication  "  money,  does  not  publish  the  said 

(it  was  for  but  a  few  months)  to  charge  "Book,    according  to  his  promise, 

him  with  an  intention  to  cheat  his  "  and  according  as  to  the  Honour 

subscribers.     I  possess  a  pamphlet,  "  of  a  Poet  he  Ought."     It  is  need- 

which  a  manuscript  memorandum  on  less  to  add  that  the  "Tryal,    Ex- 

the  title,  in  the  handwriting  of  the  "  amination,    and  Condemnation," 

time,  shows  to  have  been  issued  on  are  conducted  in  a  style  of  reckless 

the  2nd  October,    1705  ;  and  simply  scurrility  in  every  respect  worthy 

to  quote  that  title    will  show  the  of  this  title.     Certainly  De  Foe  was 

violence  and  recklessness  of  the  ene-  the  best  abused  man  even  of  that 

mies  whom  his   hard   hitting   had  abusive  time.     The  bi-weekly  paper 

provoked.      "  The    Proceedings   at  called  the   Rehearsal,    now    before 

"  the  Tryal,  Examination,  and  Con-  me,  seems  to  have  existed  for  no 

"  demnation,  of  a  certain  Scribling,  other  purpose  than  to  assail  him; 

**  Rhyming,    Versifying,  Poeteeriug  and  this  it  did  unsparingly  twice  every 

"Hosier  and   True   Born  English-  week,  through  a  series  of  years  now 

"man,    commonly   known   by  the  represented  by  four  reasonably  sized 

"  name    of    Daniel    the    prophet,  folio    volumes,   to   which  his  name 

"  alias   Anglipoliski,   alias  Foeski,  (under  vai'ious  forms  of  attack  and 

"  alias  your  humble  sei-vant  De  F,  abuse)  imparts  the  solitary  interest 

"  for  taking  subscriptions  to  a  cer-  they  continue  to  possess* 


120 


HOW  TO  SELL  A  DULL  BOOK.         {Daniel 


directions  of  that  nature,  liad  stubbornly  refused  to 
buy.  What  was  to  be  done  with  the  ponderous  stock 
under  which  his  shelves  were  groaning  ?  De  Foe  quieted 
his  fears.  Nothing  but  a  ghost  from  the  grave,  it  was 
true,  could  recommend  such  a  book  with  effect ;  but  a 
ghost  from  the  grave  the  worthy  bookseller  should  have.' 


^  In  connection  -with  this  subject, 
and  the  impression  one  cannot  but 
receive,  from  the  downright  earnest- 
ness with  which  the  invention  is  cha- 
ractei'ised,  that  De  Foe  actually  might 
himself  have  believed  in  the  possi- 
bility of  such  a  visitation,  and  so 
might  have  thought  it  no  bad  service 
to  his  countrymen  to  do  his  best  to 
persuade  them  of  the  like,  even  by 
means  of  a  fiction,  — I  ought  here  to 
mention  that,  besides  innumerable 
passages  in  his  general  writings  to  the 
same  effect,  he  published  a  formal 
treatise  on  Apparitions  and  Spirits, 
and  the  strong  probabilities  of  their 
direcu  communication  with  the  visible 
•world.  There  can  be  little  doubt 
that  De  Foe's  I'eligious  convictions 
find  belief  sought  help  and  sustain- 
ment  from  speculations  of  this  na- 
ture, and  that  he  held  it  to  be  the 
moral  and  material  delect  of  his  day, 
that  the  spiritual  element  in  life  ob- 
tained such  small  recognition.  ' '  Be- 
"  tween  our  ancestors  laying  too 
"  much  stress  on  supernatural  evi- 
*'  dences,"hesays,  "and  the  present 
"  age  endeavouring  wholly  to  ex- 
* '  plode  and  despise  them,  the  world 
*'  seems  hardly  ever  to  have  come 
**  to  a  right  understanding  .  .  . 
*'  Spirit  is  certainly  something  we  do 
**  not  fully  understand  in  our  present 
' '  confined  circumstances  ;  and,  as 
"we  do  not  fully  understand  the 
"  thing,  so  neither  can  we  distin- 
**  guish  its  operation.  Yet  not- 
*'  withstanding  all  this,  it  converses 
*'  here  ;  is  with  us  and  among  us  ; 
**  corresponds,  though  unembodied, 
*'  with  our  spirits  ;  and  this  con- 
*  *  versing  is  not  only  by  an  invisible, 
"  but  to  us  an  inconceivable  way." 
Such  communication  he  believes  to 
take  place  by  two  modes,  First,  by 


'*  immediate,  personal,  and  parti- 
"  cular  converse;"  and  secondly, 
by  "  those  spirits  acting  at  a  dis- 
"  tance,  rendering  themselves  vi- 
"  sible,  and  their  transactions  per- 
"  ceptible,  on  such  occasions  as 
*'  they  think  fit,  without  any  further 
**  acquaintance  with  the  person." 
It  was  his  conviction  that  God  had 
posted  an  army  of  these  ministering 
spirits  round  our  globe,  "to  be 
"  ready,  at  all  events,  to  execute  his 

*  *  orders  and  to  do  his  will ;  reserv- 
* '  ing  still  to  himself  to  send  express 
"  messengers  of  a  superior  rank  on 
"  extraordinary  occasions."  These, 
he  adds,  "  may,  without  any  ab- 
"  surdity,  be  supposed  capable  of 
* '  assuming  shapes,  conversing  with 
"  mankind  by  voice  and  sound,  or 
*'  by  private  notices  of  things,  im- 
"  pulses,    forebodings,    misgivings, 

*  and  other  imperceptible  commu- 
"  nications  to  the  minds  of  men,  as 
"  God  their  great  em^jloyer  may 
"  direct."  But,  upon  the  power  of 
man  to  control,  or  communicate  at 
Lis  will  with  such  spiritual  beings, 
he  entertains  doubts,  and  gravely 
protests  against  the  arts  of  conjura- 
tion. I  subjoin  also  the  curious 
and  somewhat  touching  passage  in 
which  De  Foe  accounts  for  the 
strength  of  these  beliefs  in  him,  by 
the  ordinary  current  of  his  daily  ex- 
periences. "I  firmly  believe, "  says 
he,  "  and  have  had  such  convincing 
"  testimonies  of  it,  that  I  must  be 
"  a  confirmed  atheist  if  I  did  not, 
'  *  that  there  is  a  converse  of  spirits, 
"  I  mean  those  unembodied,  and 
**  those  that  are  encased  in  flesh. 
"  From  whence,  else,  come  all  those 
* '  private  notices,  strong  impulses, 
"  involuntary  joy,  sadness,  and 
"  foreboding  apprehensions,  of  and 


De  Foe.']         the  ghost  of  mrs.  veal. 


121 


As  speedily  done  as  said.  De  Foe  sent  him,  in  a  few 
days,  The  True  History  of  the  Apjmrition  of  one  Mrs.  Veal, 
the  next  day  after  her  Death,  to  one  Mrs.  Bargrave,  at 
Canterbury,  the  8th  of  September,  1705.  If  such  a  thing 
was  ever  to  be  believed,  here  it  was  made  credible. 
When  Shakespeare  invented  five  justices  to  put  their 
hand  to  that  enormous  flam  of  Autolycus,  about  the  mer- 
maid that  appeared  upon  the  coast  on  Wednesday  the 
fourscore  of  April,  forty  thousand  fathom  above  water, 
and  sang  her  pitiful  baUad  of  her  love  adventures,  we 
laugh  at  the  joke,  and  there's  an  end  of  it.  But  here  was 
quite  another  matter.     The  very  narrative  purports  to  be 


**  about  things  immediately  attend- 
"  ing  us,  and  this  in  the  most  im- 
* '  portant  affairs  of  our  lives  ?  That 
"there  are  such  things,  I  think  I 
"  need  not  go  about  to  prove  ;  and  I 
' '  believe  they  are,  next  to  the  Scrip- 

*  *  tures,  some  of  the  best  and  most 
* '  undeniable  evidences  of  a  future 
* '  existence.  It  would  be  endless  to 
* '  fill  this  paper  with  the  testimonies 
"  of  learned  and  pious  men  ;  and  I 
"  could  add  to  them  a  volume  of  my 
' '  own  experiences,  some  of  them  so 
"  strange  as  would  shock  your  belief, 
' '  though  I  could  produce  such  proofs 
"  as  would  convince  any  man.  I 
"  have  had,  perhaps,  a  greater  va- 
"  riety  of  changes,  accidents,  and 
"  disasters,  in  my  short  unhapi)y 
"  life,  than  any  man,  at  least  than 
'*  most  men  alive  :  yet  I  had  never 
* '  any  considerable  mischief  or  dis- 
* '  aster  attending  me,  but,  sleeping 
"  or  waking,  I  have  had  notice  of  it 
"  beforehand  ;  and,  had  I  listened 
"  to  those  notices,  I  believe  might 
"  have  shunned  the  evil.  Let  no 
' '  man  think  this  a  jest.  I  seriously 
"  acknovvledge,  and  I  do  believe, 
"  my  neglect  of  such  notices  has 
"  been  my  great  injury  ;  and,  since 
"  I  have  ceased  to  neglect  them,  I 
*'  have  been  guided  to  avoid  even 
**  snares  laid  for  my  life,  by  no 
' '  other  knowledge  of  them  than  by 

*  *  such  notices  and  warnings  ;  and, 
**  more  than  that,  have  been  guided 
"  by  them  to  discover  even  the  fact 


**  and  the  persons.  I  have  living? 
"  witnesses  to  produce,  to  whom  I 
*'  have  told  the  particulars  in  the 
'*  very  moment,  and  who  have  been 
"  so  affected  with  them,  as  that 
*'  they  have  pressed  me  to  avoid  the 
'*  danger,  to  retire,  to  keep  myself 
'*  up,  and  the  like."  At  a  time 
(1855)  when  this  subject  has  been 
revived,  in  a  form  as  little  likely  to 
recommend  it  to  the  right  feeling 
as  to  the  rational  understanding  of 
the  community,  I  have  thought  that 
these  extracts  might  be  interesting. 
I  will  add  that  this  very  Essay  on 
Apparitions  contains  one  of  the  best 
pieces  of  prose  satire  I  know,  de' 
scriptive  of  a  class  of  men  rife  in 
De  Foe's  day,  and  not  extirpated 
since,  to  whom  it  would  be  as  ridi- 
culous to  talk  of  such  a  subject  as 
to  listen  to  its  discussion  by  them. 
"  To  see  a  fool,"  he  says,  "  a  fop, 
"believe  himself  inspired  ! — a  fel- 
"  low  that  washes  his  hands  fifty 
"  times  a  day,  but,  if  he  would  be 
"  truly  cleanly,  should  have  his 
* '  brains  taken  out  and  washed,  his 
"skull  trepanned,  and  placed  with 
**  the  hinder  side  before  ;  so  that 
*'  his  understanding,  which  nature 
"  placed  by  mistake  with  the  bottom 
"  upward,  may  be  set  right,  and 
"his  memory  placed  in  a  right 
"  position  !  To  this  unscrewed 
*'  engine,  talk  of  spirits  and  of  the 
"invisible  world,  and  of  his  con- 
' '  versing  with  unembodied  souls  ! 


122    TITTLE    TATTLE    FROM   THE    OTRES,   WORLD.    [^Daniel 

drawn  up  "  by  a  gentleman,  a  Justice  of  Peace,  at  Maid- 
"  stone,  in  Kent,  a  very  intelligent  person.'^     Moreover, 
it  is  attested  by  a  "  very  sober  and  understanding  gentle- 
'*  woman,  who  lives  in  Canterbury,  witbin  a  few  doors  of 
"  the  bouse  in  wbich  Mrs.  Bargrave  lives."     The  one 
vouches  for  the  other,  and  the  other  vouches  for  Mrs.  B.'s 
veracity.     The  justice  believes  his  kinswoman  to  be  of  so 
discerning  a  spirit  as  not  to  be  put  upon  by  any  fallacy ; 
and  the  kinswoman  positively  assures  the  justice  that  the 
whole  matter,  as  it  is  related  and  laid  down,  is  really  true, 
and  what  she  herself  heard,  as  near  as  may  be,  from  Mrs. 
Bargrave's  own  mouth  :  "  who,  she  hioivs,  had  no  reason 
''  to  invent  or  publish  such  a  story,  or  any  design  to  forge 
"  or  tell  a  lie  ;  being  a  woman  of  so  much  honesty  and 
"  virtue,  and  her  whole  life  a  course,  as  it  were,  of  piety." 
Now,  surely  this  business-like,  homely,  earnest,  common- 
place air  of  truth,  is  perfectly  irresistible.     And  what  said 
the  ghost  to  Mrs.  Bargrave  ?     Why,  the  ghost,  in  the 
course  of  a  long  gossip,  filled  with  the  says  I  and  thinks  /, 
the  says  she  and  thinks  she,  of  the  tea-table  of  a  country 
town,  and  in  which  are  introduced  scoured  silks,  broken 
china,  and  other  topics  such  as  the  ghost  of  an  exciseman's 
house-keeper  might  possibly  talk  over  with  a  seamstress, 
but  which  certainly  nobody  would  ever  think  of  inventing 
for  a  supernatural  visitation,— said,  with  all  the  confident 
dogmatism  of  her  recent  mortuary  experience,  that  Dre- 
lincourt's  book  about  Death  was  the  best  book  ever  written 
on  that  subject.  Doctor  Sherlock  was  not  bad  ;  two  Dutch 
books  had  merit ;  several  others  were  worth  mention ; 
but  Drelincourt,  she  protested,  had  by  far  the  clearest 
notions  of  death  and  the  future  state,  of  any  one  who  had 
handled  the  matter.     The  Narrative  was  appended  to  the 
book,  and  a  new  edition  advertised.     It  flew  like  wildfire. 
The  copies,  to  use  an  illustration  of  Sir, Walter  Scott's 
(with  whom  the  narrative  was  an  immense  favourite), 
which  had  hung  on  the  bookseller's  hands  as  heavy  as 

*' when  he  has  hardly  brains  to  con-  ''to   see  the   Devil,    in  whatever 

*'  verse  with  anything  but  a  pack  "  shape  he  is  pleased  to  appear  in, 

*'  of  hounds,  and  owes  it  only  to  his  "  is  not  really  qualified  to  live  in 

"  being  a  fool  that  he  does  not  con-  *'  this  world,  no,  not  in  the  quality 

"  verse   with    the    devil  ! — For    I  **  of    a    common    inhabitant."      I 

"must    tell    you,    good    people,"  venture  to  commend  these  sentences 

adds  De  Foe,   "  he  that  is  not  able  to  the  admiration  of  Mr.  Carlyle. 


De  Foe.']      negotiating  Scottish  union.  123 

a  pile  of  lead  bullets,  now  traversed  tlie  town  in  every 
direction,  like  the  same  bullets  discharged  from  a  field- 
piece.  Kay,  the  book  has  been  popular  ever  since.  More 
than  fifty  editions  have  not  exhausted  its  popularity.  Mrs. 
Yeal's  ghost  is  still  believed  in  by  thousands ;  and  the 
hundreds  of  thousands  who  have  bought  the  silly  treatise 
of  Drelincourt  (for  hawking  booksellers  have  made  their 
fortunes  by  traversing  the  country  with  it  in  sixpenny 
numbers),  have  borne  unconscious  testimony  to  the  genius 
of  De  Foe. 

It  was  now  engaged  once  more  in  the  service  of  the 
Ministry.  He  had,  in  various  writings,  prepared  his 
countrymen  for  the  greatest  political  measure  of  the  time; 
he  was  known  to  have  advised  the  late  King  on  a  project 
for  the  Scottish  Union  ;  and  Godolphin,  about  to  immor- 
talise his  administration  by  that  signal  act  of  statesman- 
ship, called  in  the  services  of  De  Foe.  He  describes  the 
Lord-Treasurer's  second  introduction  of  him  to  her  Ma- 
jesty, and  to  the  honour  of  kissing  her  hand.  "  Upon 
"  this  second  introduction,  her  Majesty  was  pleased  to 
"  tell  me,  with  a  goodness  peculiar  to  herself,  she  had 
"  such  satisfaction  in  my  former  services  that  she  ap- 
"  pointed  me  for  another  office."  The  greater  part  of 
the  next  two  years  was  passed  in  this  office ;  which  seems 
to  have  combined,  with  the  duties  of  Secretary  to  the  Eng- 
lish Commissioners  for  the  Union,  considerable  influence 
derived  from  the  Ministry  at  home.  It  was  an  important 
appointment,  and  Godolphin  was  assailed  for  it.  An 
under  spur-leather,  forsooth,  sent  down  to  Scotland  "  to 
"  make  the  Union  !  "  It  carried  De  Foe  at  various  inter- 
vals between  Edinburgh  and  London  ;  it  involved  him  in 
continual  discussion  leading  to  or  arising  out  of  the  mea- 
sure, as  well  as  in  the  riots  which  marked  the  excitement 
of  the  time ;  it  procured  for  him  what  appears  to  have 
been  the  really  cordial  and  friendly  attentions  of  the  Duke 
of  Queensberry  and  Lord  Buchan ;'  it  directed  his  atten- 
tion to  various  matters  which  he  believed  to  be  essential 
to  Scottish  prosperity ;  and  it  grounded  in  him  a  high 
respect  and  liking  for  the  Scottish  people.     They  had  no 

^  In  after  years  De  Foe's  grandson  bore  Lord  Buchan's  name,  David 
Erskine. 


124  EULOGY  OF  THE  SCOTCH.  [Daniel 

truer  friend  or  warmer  advocate  than  De  Foe  in  all  subse- 
quent years.  He  liked  their  love  of  liberty,  he  admired 
their  sober  and  grave  observance  of  religious  duties,  he 
celebrated  their  good  feeling  and  hospitality,  and  he 
pointed  out  the  resources  and  capabilities  of  their  soil. 
"  They  who  fancy,"  he  said,  in  a  passage  characteristic 
in  the  highest  degree  of  his  shrewd  and  sagacious  observa- 
tion, and  of  his  manly  sense  and  spirit,  *'  there  is  nothing 
'  to  be  had  here  but  wild  men  and  ragged  mountains, 

*  storms,  snows,  poverty,  and  barrenness,  are  quite  mis- 
'  taken ;  it  being  a  noble  country,  of  a  fruitful  soil  and 

*  healthy  air,  well  seated  for  trade,  full  of  manufactures 

*  by  land,  and  a  treasure  as  great  as  the  Indies  at  their 
'  door  by  sea.     The  poverty  of  Scotland,  and  the  fruit- 

*  fulness  of  England,  or  rather  the  difference  between 
'  them,  is  owing  not  to  mere  difference  of  climate,  or  the 
'  nature  of  the  soil ;  but  to  the  errors  of  time,  and  their 
'  different  constitutions.  And  here  I  must  tell  our  friends 

*  in  England,  who  are  so  backward  to  set  their  country 
'  free,  and  so  willing  to  enslave  us  again,  that  the  different 
^  face  of  the  two  countries,  tp  whoever  will  please  to  sur- 

*  vey  them  as  I  have  done,  is  the  best  lecture  upon 
'  politics.     All  the  land  in  England  is  not  fruitful,  nor 

*  that  in  Scotland  all  barren.  Climate  cannot  be  the 
'  cause ;  for  the  lands  in  the  north  of  Scotland  are  in 
'■  general  better  than  the  lands  in  Cornwall,  which  are 

*  near  six  hundred  miles  south  of  them.  But  Liberty  and 
^  Trade  have  made  the  one  rich,  and  Tyranny  the  other 
'  poor."     Nor  did  even  such  earnest  eulogy  suffice  for 

the  tribute  he  would  render  to  the  Scotch.  He  broke 
out  again  into  verse,  and  wrote  a  poem  in  their  praise  ; 
he  busied  himself  earnestly  with  suggestions  for  their  com- 
mercial and  national  advancement;  and  he  spent  some 
well- devoted  labour,  in  after  years,  on  the  compilation  of 
a  very  minute,  and,  so  to  speak,  highly  dramatic  History 
of  the  Union.  We  rejoice  to  have  to  couple  that  act,  so 
eminently  in  the  best  spirit  of  the  Eevolution,  so  large- 
minded  and  so  tolerant,  with  De  Foe's  name.  It  changed 
turbulence  to  tranquillity ;  rude  poverty  to  a  rich  civi- 
lisation ;  and  the  fierce  atrocities  of  a  dominant  church, 
to  the  calm  enjoyments  of  religious  liberty. 

A  strange  scene  was  meanwhile  going  on  in  London. 


De  Foe^l  dismissal  of  harley.  125 

The  easy,  indolent  Prince  George  (whom  Charles  II. 
said  he  had  tried  drunk  and  sober,  and  could  do  nothing 
with  him)  had  been  heard  to  complain  one  day,  in  the 
intervals  of  his  dinner  and  his  bottle,  that  the  Queen 
came  very  late  to  bed.  This  casual  remark,  falling  on  the 
already  sharp  suspicions  of  the  Duchess  of  Marlborough, 
discovered  the  midnight  conferences  of  the  Queen  with 
Abigail  Masham  and  her  kinsman,  Secretary  Harley ;  and 
the  good  Mrs.  Freeman,  knowing  that  her  dear  Mrs. 
Morley  had  not  a  stock  of  amity  to  serve  above  one  object 
at  a  time,  at  once  peremptorily  insisted  on  the  suspension 
of  the  Abigail,  and  the  dismissal  of  the  Secretary.  We 
state  the  fact  without  comment ;  but  it  may  be  remarked, 
that  if  Harley's  back-stairs  midnight  visits  impHed 
treachery  to  his  colleagues,  it  was  not  of  that  black  kind 
which  would  have  ruined  men  who  trusted  him.  It  had 
been  clear  to  the  Secretary  for  some  time,  that  the  Whigs 
would  not  trust  him.  He  says  himself,  and  there  is  no 
reason  to  doubt  it,  that  he  was  not  enough  of  a  party-man 
for  them.  One  smiles,  indeed,  with  a  kind  of  sympathy 
for  him,  to  read  in  Lord  Cowper's  diary  of  two  years' 
date  before  this,  his  devotion  of  his  best  tokay  (''  good, 
**  but  thick  ")  to  the  hapless  effort  of  Whig  conciliation. 
The  accession  of  strength  received  from  the  great  measure 
of  the  Union,  had  been  straightway  used  to  weed  his 
friends  from  office.  Hedges  had  made  way  for  Sunder- 
land ;  and  even  Prior  and  his  colleagues,  in  the  Board  of 
Trade,  had  been  removed.  Nor  was  that  an  age  in  which 
party  warfare  was  scrupulous  on  either  side.  In  the 
session  just  begun,  the  party  motion  supported  by 
Eochester  and  Buckingham,  to  ruin  the  Whig  chiefs  of 
the  ministry,  was  supported  by  Somers  and  Wharton 
with  the  sole  hope  of  ruining  Harley.  In  now  retiring, 
the  Secretary's  principal  mortification  would  seem  to 
have  been  the  necessity  it  laid  him  under  of  joining  an 
ultra-faction.  He  made  a  last  attempt  to  conciliate 
Cowper  and  Somers.  But  the  arrangements  were  made. 
To  the  ill-concealed  grief  and  distress  of  the  Queen,  he 
and  his  friend  St.  John  retired  ;  Robert  Walpole  entered 
the  ministry  ;  Lord  Somers  was  readmitted  into  the  Privy 
Council ;  Lord  Cowper  received  the  Great  Seal ;  and  the 
imperious    Duchess    of    Marlborough    thought    herself 


126  THE  WITS  AT  will's  COFFEE  HOUSE.   \_Daniel 

triumpliant.  Slie  had  known  Anne  now  forty  years,  but 
she  did  not  know  the  strength  of  her  sullen  obstinacy.  In 
a  few  months  more,  the  death  of  the  Prince  threw  fresh 
power  into  Whig  hands.  Somers  became  President  of 
the  Council,  and  Lord  Wharton  went  to  Ireland.  He 
took  with  him,  as  Secretary,  Mr.  Joseph  Addison. 

Mr.  Addison  was,  at  this  time,  less  distinguished  by  the 
fame  of  his  writings  than  by  that  of  his  sayings.    He  was 
the  most  popular  man  in  the  little  commonwealth  of  Whig 
wits,  who  now  met  nightly  (Button's  was  not  yet  esta- 
blished) at  Will's  coffee-house  in  Covent-garden.     They 
were  a  kind  of  off-shoot  from  the  more  dignified  club  who 
ate  mutton-pies  at  Kit  Katt's  the  pastry-cook's ;  and  of 
which   the  principal  literary  members  were  Congreve, 
Garth,  Yanbrugh,  Steele,  and  Addison.    The  Revolution 
gave  a  new  character,  in  giving  new  duties,  to  associa- 
tions of  this  kind.    They  were  no  longer  what  they  were, 
when,  in  this  same  Will's  coffee-house,  then  called  The 
Eose,  Dryden  ruled  the  town  wits  from  the  Tory  chair. 
They  were  a  recognised  class,  with  influence  before  un- 
known.    In  sketching  the  career  of  De  Foe,  we  have 
indicated  its  rise  and  growth.   The  people  were  beginning 
to  be  important,  and  it  was  the  only  direct  means  of  com- 
munication with  the  people.     Thus,  the  Kttle  party  at 
WiU's  were  not  sought,  or  courted,  for  the  graces  of  their 
wit  and  literature  alone.     That  pale,  bright-eyed,  sickly, 
deformed  youth  of  one- and- twenty,  whose  Pastorals  are 
so  much  talked  of  just  now,  may  seek  them  for  no  better 
reason;  but  not  for  this  are  they  sought  by  the  tall, 
stem-looking,  dark-faced  Irish  priest,  whose  forty-two 
years  of  existence  have  been  a  struggle  of  ill-endured 
dependence  and  haughty  discontent,  which  he  now  resolves 
to  redeem  in  the  field  of  political  warfare.     Here,  mean- 
while, he  amuses  himself  and  the  town  with  Mr.  Bicker- 
staff's  joke  against  Mr.  Partridge,  suggesting  to  hearty 
Dick  Steele  those  pleasant  Lucubrations' of  Isaac,  which, 
in  a  few  months  more,  are  to  take  the  town  by  storm ;  or, 
it  may  be,  showing  privately  to  Addison  that  sneer  against 
De  Foe,  worded  with  such  malignant  art,  which  he  was 
about  now  to  give  to  the  world.     "  One  of  those  authors 
"  (the  felloiv  who  icas  pilloried,  I  have  forgot  his  name)  is 
"  indeed  so  grave,  sententious,  dogmatical  a  rogue,  that 


T)e  Foe.']  copyright  act  passed.  127 

"  there  is  no  enduring  him/' '  That  was  it !  There  was 
profiting  hy  his  labour ;  there  was  copying  the  sugges- 
tions of  his  genius ;  there  was  travelling  to  wealth  and 
power  along  the  path  struck  out  hy  his  martyrdom ;  hut, 
for  this  very  reason,  there  was  no  enduring  him.  A  man 
who  will  go  into  the  pillory  for  his  opinions,  is  not  a 
"  cluhable  "  man.  Yet,  at  this  very  moment,  De  Foe 
was  labouring  for  the  interests  of  the  literary  class.  For 
twenty  years  he  had  urged  the  necessity  of  a  law  to  pro- 
tect an  author's  property  in  his  writings,  and  in  this 
session  the  Copyright  Act  was  passed.  The  common  law 
recognised  a  perpetual  right,  but  gave  no  means  of 
enforcing  it ;  the  statute  limited  the  right,  and  gave  the 
means.  It  was  a  sort  of  cheat,  but  better  than  unlimited 
robbery.^ 

Notwithstanding  Harley's  retirement,  De  Foe  con- 
tinued in  the  service  of  Godolphin's  Ministry.  But,  at 
the  special  desire  of  Harley  himself;  to  whom,  as  the 
person  by  whom  he  had  first  been  employed  for  Anne,  and 
whose  apparently  falling  fortunes  were  a  new  claim  of 
attachment,  he  considered  himself  bound.  "  Nay,  not  so, 
"  Mr.  De  Foe,"  said  Harley,  "  I  shall  not  take  it  ill  from 
"  you  in  the  least.  Besides,  it  is  the  Queen  you  are  serv- 
"  ing,  who  has  been  very  good  to  you."  The  words  were 
well  selected  for  continuance  of  the  tenure  by  which  the 
sagacious  diplomatist  had  first  engaged  his  services.  He 
went  to   the  Lord-Treasurer  accordingly,  who  received 


*  He  hated  him  still  worse,  when  "  Books  are  printed  by  nobody,  and 

he  found  him  writing  for  Harley  on  * '  wrote  by  everybody.      One  man 

the  same  side  with  himself,  and  be-  "  prints  another  man's  works,  and 

came  conscious  that  hack  partisans  "  calls  them  his  own  ;  another  man 

on  the  other  side  did  not  scruple  to  *'  prints  his  own,  and  calls  them  by 

couple  them  together,  as  "'  fellow-  *'  the  name  of  another.     Continual 

"labourers   in  the   service  of  the  "robberies,  piracies,  and  invasions 

*'  white  Staff."     "  He  paid  De  Foe  '*  of  property,  occur  in  the  occupa- 

*' better  than  he  did  Swift,  looking  "  tion.     One  man  shall  study  seven 

"on  him  as  the  shrewder  head  of  "years  to   bring  a  finished   piece 

"the    two    for    business,"    is  the  "  into  the  world;  and,   as  soon  as 

reckless  assertion  of  Oldmixon.  "  produced,  it  shall  be  republished 

^  I  have  adverted  to  this  subject  "by   some    piratical    printer  at  a 

in  a  previous  note  (ante,  p.  105-7) ;  "  quarter  of  the  price,  and  sold  for 

but   I  may  add,   in  a  few  pregnant  '  *  his   own   benefit.      These  things 

sentences  from  one  of  De  Foe's  Be-  "  call  loudly  for  an  act  of  parlia- 

riews  of  this  date,  a  description  ©f  "  ment." 
the  existing  abuses  of  the  law : — 


128  MINISTERIAL   EMPLOYMENTS.  [Daniel 

him  witli  great  friendliness,  and  told  him,  *'  smiling,"  he 
had  not  seen  him  a  long  while.  De  Foe  frankly  men- 
tioned his  obligations  to  Harley,  and  his  fear  that  his 
interest  might  be  lessened  on  that  account.  "  Not  at  all, 
"  Mr.  De  Foe,"  rejoined  Godolphin ;  "  I  always  think  a 
"  man  honest  till  I  find  the  contrary."  To  which  De 
Foe  might  have  added,  without  rebuke,  in  the  language 
he  always  afterwards  used  of  Harley,  "  And  I  shall  ever 
"  preserve  this  principle,  that  an  honest  man  cannot  be 
*'  ungrateful  to  his  benefactor."  The  scrupulous  author, 
nevertheless,  considered  it  his  duty,  while  now  again 
engaged  in  ministerial  employments,'  entirely  to  cease 
communication  with  the  rival  statesman,  tiU  he  again 
appeared  as  a  pubKc  minister. 

It  was  not  very  long.  Nor  had  the  Ministry,  on  the 
score  of  moderation  at  any  rate,  profited  greatly  by  his 
absence ;  while  he,  by  the  position  of  parties,  was  driven 
to  the  extreme  of  opposition.  Despairing  of  the  Queen's 
power  to  second  her  well-known  incKnation,  the  High 
Church  trumpet  had  again  sounded  to  battle,  and  De  Foe 
had  again  buckled  on  his  armour  of  offence  against  both 

^  What  these  employments  exactly  "  tell  me  the  rest ;  and  so  I  with- 

"were,  is  not  now  known  ;  but  they  *'  drew.     The  next  day,  his  lordship 

were  thus  hinted  at  by  himself,  when  "  having  commanded  me  to  attend, 

lie   defended  his  conduct  after  the  '  *  told  me  that  he  must  send  me  to 

death  of  Anne  : — '*  After  this  re-  *'  Scotland,  and  gave  me  but  three 

*'  ception  my  Lord  Godolphin  had  *'  days  to  prepare  myself,     Accord- 

"  the  goodness,  not  only  to  introduce  *'  ingly,  I  went  to  Scotland,  where 

*'  me   for  the  second  time   to  her  "  neither     my    business    nor    the 

*'  Majesty,    and   to   the  honour  of  *'  manner   of  my  discharging  it  is 

"kissing  her  hand,    but  obtained  "material  to  this  tract;  nor  will 

' '  for  me  the  continuance  of  an  ap-  * '  it  be  ever  any  part  of  my  cha- 

"  pointment  which  her  Majesty  had  "  racter  that  I  reveal  what  should 

*'  been  pleased  to  make  me,  in  con-  "be  concealed.    And  yet  my  errand 

"  sideration   of    a    former    special  "was  such,  as  was  far  from  being 

'  *  service  I  had  done,  and  in  which  ' '  unfit  for  a  sovereign  to  direct,  or 

"  I   had  run  as  much  risk  of  my  "  an  honest  man  to  perform  ;  and 

"  life   as    a    grenadier    upon    the  "  the  service  I  did  upon  that  occa- 

"  counterscarp    ....    Upon   this  "  sion,  as  it  is  not  unknown  to  the 

"second  introduction,  her  Majesty  "greatest  man  now  in  the  nation 

"  was  pleased  to  tell  me  with    a  "  under  the  King  and  the  Prince, 

"goodness  peculiar  to  herself,  that  "so,    I   dare   say,    his  Grace  was 

"  she  had  such  satisfaction  in  my  "never  displeased  with  the  part  I 

"  former  services  that  she  had  ap-  "  had   in  it,   and  I  hope  will  not 

"pointed  me    for    another    afiair,  "  forget  it."     The  last  allusion,  I 

"  which  was  something   nice,  and  need  hardly  say,  is  to  the  Duke  of 

"  that  my    Lord- Treasurer  should  ]\Iarlborough. 


De  Foe.'l  short  hixt  to  impartial  writers.        129 

ultra-parties.  Again,  as  he  says  himself,  he  went  on 
freely  telling  offensive  truths,  regarding  no  censures,  fear- 
ing no  prosecutions,  asking  no  favour  of  any  man,  making 
no  court  to  any,  and  expecting  not  to  oblige  even  those 
whom  he  thought  the  best  of.  It  was  now  he  told  the  world 
that  fate  of  the  unbiassed  writer,  with  Avhich  a  celebrated 
journal  of  modern  days  has  familiarized  its  readers.  "  If 
"  I  might  give  a  short  hint  to  an  impartial  writer,  it 
"  should  be  to  tell  him  his  fate.  If  he  resolves  to  venture 
"  upon  the  dangerous  precipice  of  teUing  unbiassed  truths, 
"  let  him  proclaim  war  with  mankind  a  la  mode  le  pays  de 
**  Pole  J  neither  to  give  nor  take  quarter,  (jf  he  tells  the 
*'  crimes  of  great  men,  they  fall  upon  him  with  the  iron 
"  hands  of  the  law ;  if  he  tells  them  of  their  virtues, 
"  when  they  have  any,  then  the  mob  attacks  him  with 
"  slander.  But  if  he  regards  truth,  let  him  expect 
"  martyrdom  on  both  sides,  and  then  he  may  go  on  fear- 
"  less.  And  this  is  the  course  I  take  myself.''^  It  was  now, 
describing  his  personal  treatment  by  one  of  the  Tory 
mobs,  he  told  them  the  destiny  of  all  who  had  ever 
served  them.  "  He  that  will  help  you,  must  be  hated 
*'  and  neglected  by  you,  must  be  mobbed  and  plundered 
"  for  you,  must  starve  and  hang  for  you,  and  must  yet 
"  help  you.     And  thus  I  do.'* 

We  could  give  numberless  instances  from  the  Review 
itself,  if  space  permitted  ;  but,  limited  as  we  are  in  this 
respect,  it  Tvill  perhaps  suffice  if  we  turn  to  the  Biary  of 
LuttreU,  and  take  a  note  or  two  from  that  voluminous 
record  as  the  mere  type  or  indication  of  a  petty  persecu- 
tion, quite  wonderful  for  its  eager  activity,  which  from 
month  to  month,  and  year  to  year,  was  incessantly  directed 
against  this  indomitable  man.  On  one  occasion,  Tuesday 
the  15th  of  October  1706,  LuttreU  tells  us  (vi.  98)  that 
Daniel  De  Foe  was  carried  before  the  Lord  Chief  Justice 
Holt,  for  *'  inserting  a  speech  in  his  Review  relating  to 
"  the  Union,  'pretending  the  same  was  made  by  a  great 
"  lawyer,  and  was  bound  over  for  the  same,  himself  in 
*'  200/,  and  two  sureties  in  100/ each."  A  year  later,  the 
same  pains-taking  authority  informs  us  (vi.  215-16),  the 
Swedish  envoy  had  complained  against  De  Foe  for  reflect- 
ing on  his  master  in  his  Reviews  of  the  9th  and  28th  of 
August,  and  the  2nd  of  September ;  and  in  consequence 


180  MARTYRDOM   BY   PETTY   PERSECUTIONS.     [Daniel 

thereof,  on  Tuesday  the  23rd  of  September  1707  (the  same 
night  on  which  his  old  antagonist,  Tutchin  of  the  Ohser- 
fatoTf  died),  there  went  into  Scotland  "an  order  to  take 
"  into  custody  Daniel  De  Foe  for  reflecting  on  the  King  of 
*'  Sweden  in  his  EeviezvJ'  Again,  not  a  month  later, 
Luttrell  tells  us  (under  date  of  Saturday  the  18th  of 
October)  that  the  Muscovite  ambassador  has  complained 
against  Daniel  De  Foe  for  the  following  expression  in  his 
Mevieio  of  the  preceding  Thursday,  ^^  Money  makes  Chris- 
**  tians  fight  for  the  Turks,  money  hires  servants  to  the  Devil, 
"  nay,  to  the  very  Czar  of  Muscovy."  As  to  which, 
on  the  next  following  Tuesday,  the  same  trustworthy  per- 
son further  relates  that,  "  The  Earl  of  Sunderland  has 
*'  writ  to  the  Muscovite  Ambassador  here,  that  he  will 
"  take  care  the  author  of  the  Revino  shall  be  prosecuted 
"  for  the  reflection  upon  his  master."  And  so  the  pro- 
secution and  persecution  went  on,  and  so  went  on  De  Foe  ; 
mobbed  and  plundered  by  those  whom  he  opposed,  disliked 
and  neglected  by  those  whom  he  served,  but  expecting 
from  both  sides  the  martyrdom  he  received,  and  therefore 
still  going  on  fearless. 

But  now  came  suddenly  again  upon  the  scene  De  Foe's 
old  friend  Dr.  Henry  Sacheverell.  This  brawling  priest 
attacked  Godolphin  in  the  pulpit  by  the  name  of  Voljwne ; 
inveighed  against  Burnet  and  other  bishops  for  not  un- 
furling the  bloody  flag  against  Dissent;  abused  the 
Revolution  as  unrighteous  ;  and  broadly  reasserted  non- 
resistance  and  passive  obedience.  The  fellow  was  such 
a  fool  and  madman  that  a  serious  thought  should  not  have 
been  wasted  on  him,  whatever  might  be  reckoned  needful 
to  discountenance  his  atrocious  doctrines.  This  was  the 
feeling  of  De  Foe.  When  Harley  called  the  sermon  a 
"  circumgyration  of  incoherent  words",  (in  a  speech  thought 
to  merit  the  same  description),  it  seems  to  have  been  his 
feeling  too.  It  was  certainly  that  of  Lord  Somers,  and 
of  the  best  men  in  the  cabinet.  They  all  knew  his  noisy 
ignorance.  His  illustration  of  "  parallel  lines  meeting  in 
*'  a  centre,"  was  a  standing  joke  with  the  wits.  But  Vol- 
pone  stuck  to  Godolphin,  and  an  impeachment  was  resolved 
upon.  The  Minister  little  thought,  when  he  took  to  what 
Burnet  calls  the  luxury  of  roasting  a  parson,  that  the  fire 
.would  blaze  high  enough  to  roast  himself  and  his  colleagues. 


De  Foe,']  sacheyerell's  trial.  131 

Harley  made  a  shrewder  guess.  He  was  dining  with  a 
friend  in  tlie  country  when  the  news  reached  him.  "  The 
"  game  is  up," he  cried;  left  the  dinner-table,  and  hurried 
to  London.  In  vain  De  Foe  still  urged,  "  Let  us  have 
*'  the  crime  punished,  not  the  man.  The  bar  of  the  House 
"  of  Commons  is  the  worst  pillory  in  the  nation."  In  that 
elevated  pillory,  Sacheverell  Avas  placed ;  weU  dressed, 
with  clean  gloves,  with  white  handkerchief  well  managed, 
and  with  other  suitable  accomplishments ; — Atterbury, 
who  secretly  despised  him,  in  affected  sympathy  by  his 
side  ;  the  mob  without,  screaming  for  their  mart}T ;  and 
women,  high  and  low,  frantic  with  admiration.  "You 
*'  could  never  embark  the  ladies,"  said  De  Foe,  "  till  you 
"  fell  upon  the  clergy.  As  soon  as  you  pinch  the  parson, 
"  the  women  are  one  woman  in  his  defence."  His 
description  of  the  interest  created  by  the  impeachment  is 
one  of  his  happiest  pieces  of  quiet  irony.  It  has  also  his- 
toric value.  The  ladies,  he  tells  us,  laid  aside  their 
chocolate,  their  china,  and  their  gallantries,  for  State 
business;  the  Tatler,  the  immortal  Tatler,  the  great 
Bickerstaff  himself  (to  whom,  let  us  remark  by  the  way, 
De  Foe,  in  his  hearty  admiration,'  had  lately  resigned 
the  offices  of  his  own  Scandal  Club),  was  fain  to  leave  off 
talking  to  them ;  they  had  no  leisure  for  church  ;  little 
Miss,  still  obliged  to  go,  had  the  Doctor's  picture  put  into 
her  prayer-book ;  even  Punch  laid  aside  his  domestic 
broils,  to  gibber  for  the  holy  man ;  and  not  only  were  the 
churches  thinned,  and  the  parks,  but  the  very  playhouses 
felt  the  effects,  and  Betterton  died  a  beggar.  Well  had 
it  been,  however,  if  this  were  all.  A  series  of  horrible 
riots  followed.  Meeting-houses  were  pulled  down ;  the 
bloody  flag  was  in  reality  unfurled ;  mounted  escorts, 
carrying   martyr  Sacheverell    about   the  country,  were 

1  This  feeling  led  him  soon  after  "doled  him,    examined  him,    &c. 

to  condemn  Steele  for  taking  any  "  He  should  have  let   envy  bark, 

public  notice  of  Ids  quondam  friend  "  aad  fools  rail  ;  and,  according  to 

S^^'ift's   vituperation.        "For    my  "his  own  observation  of  the  fable 

"  part,"  he   says,    "I  have  always  "  of  the  sun,  continued  to  shine  on. 

*'  thought  that  the  weakest  step  the  "  This  I  have  found  to  be  agreeable 

"  Tatler  ever  took,  if  that  complete  "  to  the  true  notion  of  contempt. 

*'  author  can  be  said  to  have  done  "  Silence  is  the  utmost  slight  nature 

*^  anything  weak,    was  to  stoop  to  "can   dictate  to   a  man,  and  the 

"  take  the  least  notice  of  the  bark-  "  most  insupportable  for  a  vain  man 

"  iugs  of  the  animals  that  have  cou-  "  to  bear." 

K  2 


133  THE   HARLEY   MINISTRY.  [DaHtel 

everywhere  the  signal  for  the  plunder  and  outrage  of 
Dissenters;  the  martyr's  printed  defence  (filled  with 
abuse  of  De  Foe  and  his  Revietcs)  circulated  by  tens 
of  thousands;  and  Lord -Treasurer  Godolphin  was 
ordered  to  break  his  staff,  and  make  way  for  Robert 
Harley. 

Harley  took  ofiice ;  and  at  once  began  the  work,  which, 
whatever  the  motives  we  assign  to  him,  and  whatever  the 
just  faults  we  may  find  with  the  absence  of  decision  in 
his  mind  and  in  his  temper,  we  must  admit  that  he  con- 
tinued to  the  last^  of  opposing,  against  his  own  interests, 
the  exterminating  policy  of  the  party  who  had  borne  him 
into  power.  While  several  leading  Whigs  yet  retained 
office,  he  again  unsuccessfully  attempted  a  coalition  with 
Cowper  and  Walpole ;  and  it  was  not  until  wholly  rebuffed 
in  this  quarter  that  he  completed  his  High  Tory  cabinet, 
and  determined  to  risk  a  dissolution.  St.  John  was  made 
secretary ;  Harcourt  had  the  great  seal ;  and  he  himself 
took  the  treasurer's  staff.  The  elections  gave  him  a 
majority,  though  not  very  decisive ;  and  Anne's  celebrated 
Last  Administration  began  its  career.  A  man  might  pre- 
dict in  some  sort  the  course  of  it,  who  had  seen  the  new 
Premier  on  the  first  of  October ;  the  day  before  the  meet- 
ing of  Parliament.  He  was  not  at  the  palace  of  the 
Queen,  nor  in  his  office  of  business  with  Harcourt  or 
St.  John;  but  he  was  stopping  in  his  coach  at  the 
St.  James's  coffee-house,  to  set  down  Jonathan  Swift. 
"  He  knew  my  Christian  name  very  well,"  says  the 
Journal  to  Stella.  On  that  day  the  reverend  ex- Whig 
partizan  had  sent  forth  a  lampoon  against  Godolphin,  and 
had  paid  his  first  visit  to  Harley.  On  the  4th  he  dined 
with  him.  Afterwards,  his  visits  were  daily  welcomed. 
The  proud  and  long-neglected  Priest  found  himself,  on 
one  and  the  same  hopeful  October  day,  dining  for  ten- 
pence  in  his  old  chop-house;  then  going  "reeking" 
from  thence  to  the  first  minister  of  state;  and  then,  in 
charity,  sending  a  Tatler  to  Steele,  "who  is  very  low 
"  of  late."  Others  were  "  low  "  too.  There  was  Con- 
greve,  a  resolute  Whig,  and  member  of  the  Kit  Katt, 
whose  little  place  depended  on  the  Ministry.  But 
Harley  quieted  his  fears  with  a  happy  quotation  from 
Yirgil: 


De  Foe.'\    interview  with   the   LOHD-THEASniER.    133 

Kon  obtusa  adeo  gestaraiis  pectora  Pceni, 

ISTec  tarn  aversus  equos  Tyria  sol  jungit  ab  urbe.^ 

•  Whatever  else,  then,  were  the  objections  to  this  states- 
man, they  did  not  lie  on  the  score  of  his  indifference  to 
genius.  The  Administration  organised,  he  sent  for  De 
Foe.  A  different  course  was  needed  with  Daniel  from 
that  which  had  been  taken  with  Jonathan.  Harley  knew 
De  Foe  thoroughly;  and  was  certainly  not  sorry  to  know 
that  the  High  Church  majority  in  the  Commons  might 
have  been  much  larger,  but  for  his  unwearied  personal 
and  public  exertions  against  that  faction,  in  the  elections 
recently  closed.  De  Foe  distinctly  states  the  result  of 
the  interview  to  have  been,  that  he  capitulated  for  liberty 
to  speak  according  to  his  own  judgment  of  things,  and 
that  he  had  this  liberty  allowed  him.  Nor  did  he 
wait  on  Harley,  till  he  had  first  consulted  the  dismissed 
Godolphin ;  who  counselled  him  to  consider  himself  as 
the  Queen's  servant,  to  wait  until  he  saw  things  settled, 
and  then  to  take  her  Majesty's  commands  from  the  new 
minister.  In  the  same  tone  Harley  conferred  with  him 
now.  And  if  we  couple  the  interview  with  the  paper  sent 
forth  in  the  Review  which  first  opened  the  fury  of  the 
"Whig  batteries  on  De  Foe,  we  shall  find  everything  to 
confirm  the  impression  here  taken  of  it ;  as  well  of  the 
character  of  Harley  himself,  as  of  the  honourable  grounds 
of  De  Foe's  conditional  support.  He  states  his  opinion 
to  be,  that  the  Ministry  must  be  carried  on  upon  the 
foundation,  and  with  the  principles,  of  the  Eevolution. 
This,  he  adds,  even  though  mth  it  should  come  the  fate 
of  pleasing  and  displeasing  all  parties  in  their  turn,  can 
be  the  only  safe  guide  where  so  many  parties  alternately 
govern,  and  where  men  of  the  same  party  have  so  often 
been  of  several  opinions  about  the  same  thing.  If,  on 
the  other  hand,  they  reject  such  guidance,  another  kind 
of  language  would  have  to  be  talked  to  them.  "  For,  let 
"  not  governors  flatter  themselves,  nor  people  be  dismayed 
"  — the  Revolution  cannot  be  overthrown  in  Britain.  It 
"  is  not  in  the  power  of  ministry  or  party,  prince  or 
"  parliament,  to  do  it.     If  the  attempt  is  made,  let  them 

^  "  Our  hearts  are  not  so  cold,  nor       '*  Of  Sol  so  distant  from  the  race  of 
flames  the  fire  Tyre." 


134  SUPERIORITY  TO  PARTY.  \T)aniel 

"  look  to  it  that  venture  upon  tlie  attempt.  The  People 
"  of  England  have  tasted  Liberty,  and  I  cannot  think 
^'  they  mil  bear  the  exchange."  He  then  says  explicitly, 
that  he  shall  not  go  along  with  the  Ministry  unless  they 
go  along  with  him.  He  exults  in  Harley's  known 
inclination  to  the  Whigs ;  and  indeed  he  argues  that 
the  Constitution  is  of  such  a  nature,  that,  whoever  may 
he  in  it,  if  they  are  faithful  to  their  duty,  "  it  ivill  either 
"find  them  Whigs  or  make  them  so.''  In  short,  he  lays  it 
down  as  a  truth  not  to  he  disputed,  that  they  all  had  but 
one  interest  as  Englishmen,  whatever  interest  they  might 
have  as  to  parties. 

And  upon  these  plain  principles  Daniel  He  Foe  acted. 
They  were  principles  professed  by  Swift  two  years  later ; 
but  never,  we  regret  to  say,  whether  later  or  earlier,  impli- 
citly acted  on  by  him.  "  I  bear  all  the  Ministry  to  be  my 
"  witnesses,"  he  wrote  to  Steele,  in  whose  Correspondence 
the  letter  may  be  found,  "  that  there  is  hardly  a  man  of 
"  wit  of  the  adverse  party,  whom  I  have  not  been  so  bold 
"  as  to  recommend  often  and  with  earnestness  to  them  : 
"  for  I  think  principles  at  present  are  quite  out  of  the 
"  case,  and  that  we  dispute  wholly  about  persons.  In 
*'  these  last,  you  and  I  differ :  but  in  the  other,  I  think 
"  we  agree;  for  I  have  in  print  professed  myself  in  politics 
''  to  be  what  we  formerly  called  a  Whig."  And  in  two 
months  from  the  date  of  the  letter,  he  was  covering  this 
very  Dick  Steele  with  the  most  lavish  contempt,  for  no 
better  reason  than  that  he  held  Whig  principles.  But  he 
wrote  for  power,  and  got  it ;  while  De  Foe  wrote  for  what 
he  believed  to  be  the  public  service,  and  got  no  reward 
but  the  consciousness  of  having  done  so. 

Compare  Swift's  Examiner  with  De  Foe's  Review^  and 
the  distinction  is  yet  more  plain.  It  is  earnest  and  manly 
reasoning  against  a  series  of  reckless  libels.  Libels, 
too,  in  which  the  so-called  advocate  of  Harley  is  de- 
nounced by  Harley 's  confidential  friend  as  an  illiterate 
idiot.  "  Much  wit  in  that,"  quietly  answered  De  Foe ; 
who  never  was  seduced  into  party  lampooning,  who  held 
that  no  difference  of  opinion  should  discharge  the  obli- 
gation of  good  manners,'  and  who,  even  at  moments  like 

^  At  a  time  when  De   Foe  waa       troversy,  it  is  for  ever  to  be  recorded 
engaged  in  his  bitterest  political  con-       to  his  honour,  in  that  age  of  habitual 


De  F0S.'\  REPLY   TO   JONATHAN    SWIFT.  135 

these,  held  Swift's  wit  and  genius  in  honour.  "  Now,  I 
^*  know  a  learned  man  at  this  time,  an  orator  in  the  Latin, 
"  a  walking  Index  of  books,  who  has  all  the  libraries  in 
"  Europe  in  his  head,  from  the  Vatican  at  Rome  to  the 
"  learned  collection  of  Doctor  Salmon  at  Fleet  Ditch ; 
"  but  he  is  a  cynic  in  behaviour,  a  fury  in  temper,  unpolite 
"  in  conversation,  abusive  in  language,  and  ungovernable 
"  in  passion.  Is  this  to  be  learned  ?  Then  may  I  still  be 
"  illiterate.  I  have  been,  in  my  time,  pretty  well  master 
"  of  five  languages,  and  have  not  lost  them  yet,  though  I 
"  write  no  bill  over  my  door,  nor  set  Latin  quotations  in 
"  any  part  of  the  Review.  But,  to  my  irreparable  loss,  I 
"  was  bred  only  by  halves ;  for  my  father,  forgetting 
"  Juno's  royal  academy,  left  the  language  of  Billingsgate 
"  quite  out  of  my  education.  Hence  I  am,  in  the  polite 
'^  style  of  the  street,  perfectly  illiterate ;  and  am  not  fit  to 
"  converse  with  the  porters  and  carmen  of  quality,  who 
"  adorn  their  diction  wtth  the  beauties  of  calling  names, 
"  and  cursing  their  neighbour  with  a  bonne  grace.  I  have 
"  had  the  honour  to  fight  a  rascal,  but  never  could  muster 
"  the  eloquence  of  calling  a  man  so."  This  was  the  manly 
and  calm  spirit  of  every  return  vouchsafed  by  the  author  of 
the  Review  to  the  cross-fire  that  now  assailed  him.  He  was 
content,  whether  defending  or  opposing,  to  stand  Alone. 
He  did  not  think  the  Brothers'  Club  had  helped  the 
Ministry,  nor  that  the  Scriblerus  Club  would  be  of  any 
service  to  Literature.     He  preferred  to  stand  where  he 


libel  and  reckless  personal  abuse,  '*  satisfy   you.      I  have  not    been 

that  hethus  wrote  to  his  antagonist  :  "  desirous  of  giving  just  offence  to 

"  But  to  state  the  matter  fairly  be-  "  you,  neither  would  I  to  any  man, 

"  tween  you  and  me,  as  writing  for  "  however  I  may  differ  from  him  ; 

*'  different  interests,  and  so  possibly  *'  and  I  see  no  reason  why  I  should 

**  coming    under     an    unavoidable  *' affront  a  man's  person,   because  I 

"necessity   of   jarring    in   several  *' do  not  join  with  him  in  principle. 

"  cases,  I  am  ready  to  make  a  fair  '*  I  always  thought  that  men  might 

"truce   of  honour   with  you,  viz.  *' dispute  without  railing,   and  dif- 

"  that  if  what  either  party  are  doing  "  fer  without  quarrelling,  and  that 

"  or  saying  may  clash  with  the  party  "opinions    need    not     affect     our 

"  we  are  for,  and  urge  us  to  speak,  "temper,"      Most  admirably  and 

"  it  shall  be  done  without  naming  wisely  did  he  say  on  another  occa- 

"either's  name,  and  without  personal  sion,   in  reference  to  the  same  vile 

* '  reflections ;  and  thus  we  may  differ  habit  of  personal  recrimination,    ' '  I 

"still,  and  yet  preserve  both  the  "  have  always  carefully  avoided  lash- 

"  Christian    and    the     gentleman.  "  ing  any  man's  private  infirmities, 

"This,   1  think,   is  an   offer  may  "  as  being  too  sensible  of  my  owu." 


136  CHARGED   WITH   WRITING    FOR   PLACE.    \_Daniel 

did  ;  "  unplaced,  unpensioned,  no  man's  heir  or  slave  ;" 
in  frank  and   free  communication  with  his  countrymen. 
And  therefore  was  he  assailed  hy  Tory  scribes  on  the  one 
hand,  and  by  Whig  scribes  on  the  other,  who  could  yet  only 
join  their  attacks  on  the  one  point  of  accusing  him  of  a 
hankering  after  place.    "  And  what  place  do  I  write  for  ?  " 
he  pleasantly  asked.     "  I  have  not  yet  inquired  whether 
"  there  is  a  vacancy  in  the  press-yard  ;  but  I  know  of  no 
"  place  anybody   could  think  I  should   be  writing  for, 
"  unless  it  be  a  place  in  Newgate,  for  this  truly  may  be 
"  the  fate  of  any  body  that  dare  to  speak  plainly  to  men 
"  in  power."     The  same  charge  had  been  brought  against 
him  while  yet  the  old  Whigs  held  office.     "  As  to  places, 
"  I  have  been  seven  years  under  what  we  call  a  Whig 
"  government,  and  have  not  been  a  stranger  to  men  in 
"  power.     I  have  had  the  honour  to  be  told  I  served  that 
"  government ;  the  fury  of  an  enraged  party  has  given 
"  their  testimony  to  it,  and  I  could  produce  yet  greater ; 
"  but  the  man  is  not  alive  of  whom  I  have  sought  pre- 
**  ferment  or  reward.     If  I  have  espoused  a  wrong  cause  ; 
"  if  I  have  acted  in  a  good  cause  in  an  unfair  manner  ; 
"  if  I  have,  for  fear,  favour,  or  by  the  bias  of  any  man  in 
"  the  world,  great  or  small,  acted  against  what  I  always 
"  professed,  or  what  is  the  known  interest  of  the  nation  ; 
"  if  I  have  any  way  abandoned  that  glorious  principle  of 
"  truth  and  liberty,  which  I  ever  was  embarked  in,   and 
"  which  I  trust  I  shall  never,  through  fear  or  hope,  step 
"  one  inch  back  from, — if  I  have  done  thus,  then,  as 
"  Job  says  in  another   case,  '  Let  thistles  grow  instead 
*'  *  of  wheat,   and  cockles  instead  of  barley ;'  then,   and 
"  not  till  then,  may  I  be  esteemed  a  mercenary,  a  mis- 
"  sionary,  a  spy,  or  what  you  please.     But,  if  the  cause 
*'  be  just,  if  it  be  the  peace,  security,  and  happiness  of 
"  both  nations,  if  I  have  done  it  honestly  and  effectually 
"  — how   does   it  alter   the  case  if  I   have  been  fairly 
''  encouraged,  supported,  and  rewarded  in  the  work,  as 
"God  knows  I  have  not?     Does  the  mission  disable  the 
"  messenger,  or  does  it  depend  upon  the  merit  of  the 
"  message  ?  "  * 

^  His  experiences  derived  from  stated  in  another  of  his  ■writings. 
Buch  support  as  he  had  given  Har-  After  telling  the  story  of  a  malcon- 
ley's  government,  were  very  happily      tent,   "  of  a  reign  not  many  years 


T)e  Foe.'\    a  tebtor  and  creditor  accouxt.  137 

And  now,  as  tlie  best  comment  we  can  make  upon  this 
manly  avowal,  let  us  briefly  state  De  Foe's  debtor-and- 
creditor  account  with  the  Administration  of  Eobert 
Harley. 

He  supported  him  against  the  October  Club  ;  a  party 
of  a  hundred  country  gentlemen,  who  drank  October  ale, 
and  would  have  driven  things  to  extremes  against  the 
Whigs.  He  supported  him  against  the  bigot  Rochester ; 
and  against  the  tiery,  impatient  Bolingbroke.  He  sup- 
ported him  against  the  Whigs ;  when  the  Whigs,  to 
avenge  their  party  disappointments,  laid  aside  their 
noblest  principles,  and  voted  with  Lord  Findlater  for  the 
dissolution  of  the  Scottish  Union.  He  supported  him 
also  against  the  Whigs,  when,  for  no  nobler  reason,  they 
joined  with  his  old  enemy  Lord  Nottingham,  to  oppress 
and  disable  the  Dissenters.  And  again  he  supported  him 
against  the  Whigs,  when,  speaking  through  their  ablest 
and  most  liberal  representatives,  the  WalpoleS;  and  the 
Stanhopes,  they  declared  emphatically,  and  in  all  circum- 
stances, for  a  total  prohibition  of  trade  mth  France. 
It  was  on  this  latter  question  De  Foe  would  seem  to  have 
incurred  their  most  deadly  hatred.  He  had  achieved  the 
repute  of  a  great  authority  in  matters  of  the  kind  ;  and 

"  behind  ns"  (whether  he  -wrote  '*  them  stopped  ;  like  a  sort  of  dogs 

Postboys   or    Examiners,     De    Foe  "  I  have  met  with,  that,  when  they 

humorously  interposes,   authors  are  * '  attend   under   your  table,    bark 

not   agreed),   who,  when   an  argu-  "  that  they  may  be  fed.     1  remem- 

ment  was  brought  a  little  too  close  '*  ber  a   man   of  some    note    who 

to  him,  said,    "  Sir,   you  would  rail  '*  practised  this  with  great  success, 

"  as  I  do,  if  you  were  not  bribed  ;"  "  and  canted  a  long  while  in  the 

to  which  the  other  replied,    "Ay,  *'  House  of  Commons  about  abuses 

"  and  you  would  be  quieter  than  I,  "in  the  management,   misapplying 

"if anybody  would  bribe  you;" —  "the     public     treasure,     making 

he   proceeds  to   remark  :     "Three  "felonious  treaties,  and  the  like  ; 

' '  sorts  of  men  always  rail  at  a  Gro-  '  *  but  a   wise   old   fox   no    sooner 

*'  vernment.      First,    those    whose  "  halved  his  den  to   this   badger, 

"  opinion  of  their  own  merit  makes  "  but  he  put  a  stop  to  the  clamour, 

' '  them  think  they  are  never  well  "  and   the    nation's    treasure    was 

"enough   rewarded.       The    second  "  never  misapplied  since,  because  a 

"  sort  are  those,  who,  having  en-  "  good  share  of  it  ran  his  way." 

"joyed   favours,    but   being  found  The    wise    old    reynard    was    Sir 

"unworthy,    are    discarded    from  Stephen  Fox  ;   and  the  quieted  bad- 

"  their  offices  ;  these   always    rail  ger,  a  certain  notorious  place-hunter 

"  as  if  they  had  never  been  obliged,  of  the  parliament  of  William   and 

"  But  we  have  a  third  sort  of  peo-  Anne,    Mr.  John  Howe,  MP,  whom 

"  pie    who  always   go  with  their  Sir  Stephen  made  joint  Paymaster 

"mouths   open,    in  order  to  have  of  the  Forces  with  himself. 


138  HARLEY   AND    BOLINGBROKE    SUPPORTED.    \T)aniel 

he  threw  it  all  into  the  scale  in  favour  of  Bolingbroke's 
treaty.  He  wrote  on  it  often  and  largely ;  with  eminent 
ability,  and  with  great  effect.  His  view  briefly  was,  that 
the  principle  of  a  free  trade,  unencumbered  by  prohibi- 
tions, and  with  very  moderate  duties,  was  "not  only 
"  equal  and  just,  but  proceeding  on  the  true  interest  of 
"  trade,  and  much  more  to  the  advantage  of  Britain  than 
"  of  France."  ^  What  disadvantages  of  unpopularity  such 
reasoning  had  then  to  contend  with,  we  need  not  say ;  the 
cry  of  Trade  and  Wool  did  as  much  for  the  Whigs,  as  that 
of  Sacheverell  and  the  Church  had  done  for  the  Tories  ; 
but  He  Foe  opposed  both  alike,  and  it  is  not  very  pro- 
bable that  he  will  be  traduced  for  it  now. 

But  we  have  not  yet  stated  the  reverse  of  his  account 
in  connection  with  Robert  Harley's  Administration.  It 
it  not  less  honourable  to  him. 

He  did  not  oppose  the  Peace  when  settled  ;  but  while 
it  was  in  progress  he  opposed  the  terms.  He  desired 
peace  ;  but  he  did  not  think  the  Spanish  guarantees  sufii- 
cient.  He  thought  that  Europe  had  been  saved  by  the 
policy  of  William  and  the  Whigs,  and  by  the  genius  of 
Marlborough  ;  but  he  did  not  approve  of  the  violent 
method  of  winding  up  the  war.  He  was,  in  short,  glad 
when  it  was  done,  but  would  have  been  ashamed  to  take 
part  in  doing  it :  and  the  best  judgment  of  posterity,  we 
believe,  confirms  that  judgment.  He  opposed  the  crea- 
tion of  Peers.  He  opposed  strongly,  while  the  Whigs 
made  the  feeblest  resistance,  the  Parliamentary  Qualifica- 
tion act ;  which  he  condemned  for  a  lurking  tendency  to 
give  preponderance  to  the  landed  interest.  He  opposed 
the    Occasional    Conformity   bill;    though    his    position 

1  He  argued  this  question  of  Free  traordinarily    scarce.      When    Mr. 

Trade,    which  he   dealt  with  in  a  Wilson  published   his   Life   of    De 

spirit   greatly    in    advance    of  his  Foe,  he  had  not  been  able  to  get 

time,  chiefly  in  a  government  paper  sight  of  a  copy.     One  of  the  very 

called  the  Mercator,   set  on  foot  by  few  in    existence    belongs    to    my 

Harley,    in  which  he  had  no  per-  friend  Mr.  Crossley  of  Manchester, 

sonal    or    pecuniary    interest,  and  who  justly  describes  it  as   "replete 

over  which  (though  he  was  very  un-  "  with  the  vigour,  the  life  and  ani- 

justly  made  responsible  for  all  its  "  mation,  the  various  and  felicitous 

contents)  he  exercised  no  control  ;  *'  power  of  illustration,   which  this 

but  to  whose  pages  he  contributed  a  "great  and  truly   English  author 

series  of  most  remarkable  papers  on  "  could  impart  to  any  subject." 
commercial  subjects.     It  is  now  ex- 


De  Foe.']  harley  and  bolingbroke  opposed.         139 

respecting  it  was  such  tliat  lie  might  fairly  have  kept  his 
peace.  He  opposed  the  Tax  upon  Papers  ;  and  bitterly- 
denounced  the  malignant  attack  upon  the  Press  which 
signalised  Bolingbroke's  few  days'  Ministry.  He  concen- 
trated all  his  strength  of  opposition  against  the  same 
statesman's  Schism  bill ;  in  which  an  attempt  was  made 
to  deprive  Dissenters  of  all  share  in  the  work  of  educa- 
tion, grounded  precisely  on  those  preposterous  High 
Church  claims  which  we  have  seen  flagrantly  revived  in 
more  recent  days.  Let  us  show,  by  a  memorable  passage 
from  the  Review,  how  httle  Church  pretensions  and  extra- 
vagances alter,  while  all  else  alters  around  them.  "  AVho 
"  are  they  that  at  this  juncture  are  so  clamorous  against 
*'  Dissenters,  and  are  eagerly  soliciting  for  a  further 
"  security  to  the  Church  ?  Are  they  not  that  part  of  the 
"  clergy  who  have  already  made  manifest  advances  towards 
**  the  s}Tiagogue  of  Rome  ?  they  who  preach  the  inde- 
"  pendency  of  the  Church  on  the  State  ?  who  urge  the 
*'  necessity  of  auricular  confession,  sacerdotal  absolution, 
"  extreme  unction,  and  prayer  for  the  dead  ?  who  expressly 
*'  teach  the  real  presence  in  the  Lord's  Supper,  which  they 
"  will  have  to  be  a  proper  sacrifice  ?  and  who  contend  for 
*'  the  practice  of  rebaptising,  wherein  they  overshoot  the 
"  Papists  themselves  ?  Are  they  not  they  who  are  loudly 
"  clamorous  for  those  church  lands  which,  to  the  unspeak- 
"  able  detriment  of  the  public,  were  in  the  days  of  igno- 
"  ranee  given  to  impudent  begging  friars  ? "  Finally, 
when  it  was  whispered  about  that  the  leading  Ministers 
were  intriguing  for  the  succession  of  the  Pretender ; 
and  when  it  was  reported  everywhere  that  the  mani- 
festo of  the  Jacobites  against  a  Protestant  succession 
lay  splendidly  bound  in  the  Queen's  closet  at  Windsor ; 
De  Foe  wrote  and  published  those  three  pamphlets, 
which,  for  prompt  wit  and  timely  satire,  may  be  classed 
with  his  best  efforts  :  A  Seasonable  Caution. —  What  if  the 
Pretender  should  come  ? — and,  What  if  the  Queen  should 
die  ? 

It  is  almost  inconceivable  that  the  Whigs  should  have 
led  the  cry  against  him  on  the  score  of  these  admirable 
pieces ;  but  it  is  another  proof  of  the  blindness  of  party 
malice.  The  men  of  whose  principles  throughout  life  he 
had  been  the  sturdiest  advocate,  were  the  Dissenters  and 


140  AGAIN  IN  NEWGATE.  [^Daniel 

the  Whigs ;  and,  as  he  had  to  thank  the  one  for  his 
earliest  experience  of  a  prison,  for  his  latest  he  had  now 
to  thank  the  other.  A  great  Whig  light,  Mr.  Auditor 
Benson,  commenced  a  prosecution  against  him,  at  his 
private  cost,  for  desiring  by  these  works  to  favour  the 
Jacobite  succession  ;  their  mode  of  recommending  the 
Jacobite  succession  having  been,  to  say  that  it  would  con- 
fer on  every  one  the  privilege  of  wearing  wooden  shoes, 
and  ease  the  nobility  and  gentry  of  the  hazard  and  ex- 
pense of  winter  journeys  to  Parliament !  But  dulness  had 
the  odds  against  wit,  in  this  as  in  the  former  instance ; 
and  the  prosecutors  had  no  difficulty  in  finding  judges  to 
tell  Be  Foe,  "  that  they  contained  matter  for  which  he 
*'  might  be  hanged,  drawn,  and  quartered."  He  was  ac- 
cordingly thrown  again  into  Newgate ;  and  might  possibly 
again  have  been  taken  from  thence  to  the  pillory,  but  for 
the  interposition  of  Harley,  now  Lord  Oxford.  He  repre- 
sented the  matter  to  the  Queen  ;  and  made  known  to  Be 
Foe  the  opinion  expressed  by  Anne.  "  She  saw  nothing 
"  but  private  pique  in  it."  A  pardon  was  issued  by 
Bolingbroke,  and  the  prisoner  released.  But  not  until, 
with  an  instinct  that  the  end  was  now  approaching,  he 
had  brought  his  JReview  to  a  close,  within  the  hard  un- 
genial  walls  wherein  it  had  begun.  It  was  with  a  some- 
what sorrowful  retrospect  he  closed  it,  but  not  without  a 
dignified  content.  There  were  two  sorts  of  people  out  of 
reach  by  the  world,  he  said — those  that  are  above,  and 
those  that  are  below  it ;  they  might  be  equally  happy, 
for  aught  he  knew ;  and  between  them  he  was  not  un- 
willing to  accept  the  lot,  which,  as  it  placed  him  below 
envy,  yet  lifted  him  far  above  pity.  In  the  school  of 
affliction,  he  bethought  him  he  had  learned  more  philoso- 
phy than  at  the  academy,  and  more  divinity  than  from 
the  pulpit ;  in  prison,  he  had  learned  to  know  that  liberty 
does  not  consist  in  open  doors,  or  the  free  egress  and  re- 
gress of  locomotion.  He  had  seen  the  rough  and  smooth 
sides  of  the  world,  and  tasted  the  difference  between  the 
closet  of  a  King  and  the  Newgate  dungeon.  Here,  in 
the  dungeon,  he  had  still,  "  with  humblest  acknowledg- 
"  ments"  to  remember  that  a  glorious  Prince  had  "  loved" 
him ;  and,  whatever  Fortune  had  still  in  store,  he  felt 
himself  not  unfit,  by  all  this  discipline,  for  serious  applica- 


De  Foe.'\  triumph  of  the  whigs.  141 

tion  to  the  great,  solemn,  and  weighty  work,  of  resigna- 
tion to  the  will  of  Heaven. 

The  cheerful  and  pious  resignation  for  which  De  Foe 
had  so  prepared  himself,  he  needed  when  the  crisis  came. 
It  is  not  our  province  here  to  dwell  on  the  memorable 
scenes  of  1714,  which  consigned  Oxford  to  the  Tower 
and  Bolingbroke  to  exile ;  shattered  the  Tory  Party ; 
settled  the  succession  of  Hanover  ;  and  fixed  the  "VYhigs 
in  power.  The  principles  for  which  De  Foe  had  con- 
tended all  his  Hfe,  were  at  last  securely  established  ;  and 
for  his  reward,  he  had  to  show  the  unnoticed  and 
unprotected  scars  of  thirty-two  years'  incessant  po- 
Htical  conflict.  But  he  retired  as  he  had  kept  the  field 
— with  a  last  hearty  word  for  his  patron  Harley ;  and 
with  a  manly  defence  against  the  factious  slanders  which 
had  opened  on  himself.  He  probably  heard  the  delighted 
scream  of  Mr.  Boyer,  as  his  figure  disappeared ;  to  the 
effect  of  how  fully  he  had  been  "  confuted  by  the  ingenious 
"  and  judicious  Joseph  Addison,  esquire."  Doubtless  he 
also  smiled  to  observe  what  Whig  rewards  for  pure  Whig 
service  were  now  most  plentifully  scattered.  The  inge- 
nious Joseph  Addison,  esquire.  Secretary  of  State ;  Mr. 
Steele,  Sir  Richard,  and  Surveyor  of  the  royal  stables ; 
Mr.  Tickell,  Irish  Secretary ;  Mr.  Congreve,  twelve 
hundred  a-year ;  Mr.  Rowe,  Mr.  Hughes,  Mr.  Ambrose 
Phillips,  all  snugly  and  comfortably  sinecured.  For 
himself,  he  was  in  his  fifty-fourth  year  ;  and,  after  a  life 
of  bodily  and  mental  exertion  that  would  have  worn  down 
a  score  of  ordinary  men,  had  to  begin  life  anew. 

Into  that  new  life  we  shall  enter  but  briefly.  It  is 
plain  to  all  the  world.  It  is  the  life  by  which  he  became 
immortal*  It  is  contained  in  the  excellent  books  which 
are  named  at  the  head  of  this  article;  and  there  the  world 
may  read  it,  if  they  will.  What  we  sought  to  exhibit 
here,  we  trust  we  have  made  sufiiciently  obvious.  After 
all  the  objections  that  may  be  justly  made  to  his  opinions, 
on  the  grounds  of  shortcoming  or  excess,  we  believe  that 
in  the  main  features  of  the  career  we  have  set  before  the 
reader,  will  be  recognised  a  noble  English  example  of 
the  quaHties  most  prized  by  Englishmen.  De  Foe  is 
our  only  famous  politician  and  man  of  letters,  who  repre- 


142      .  A   TYPE    OF    ENGLISH   CHARACTER.         [Daniel 

I  sented,  in  its  inflexible  constancy,  sturdy  dogged  resolu- 
\  tion,  unwearied  perseverance,  and  obstinate  contempt  of 
Ndanger  and  of  tyranny,  the  great  Middle-class  English 
character.  We  beheve  it  to  be  no  mere  national  pride  to 
say,  that,  whether  in  its  defects  or  its  surpassing  merits, 
the  world  has  had  none  other  to  compare  with  it.  He  lived 
in  the  thickest  stir  of  the  conflict  of  the  four  most  violent 
party  reigns  of  English  history ;  and,  if  we  have  at  last 
entered  into  peaceful  possession  of  most  part  of  the  rights 
at  issue  in  those  party  struggles,  it  the  more  becomes  us 
to  remember  such  a  man  with  gratitude,  and  with  wise 
consideration  for  what  errors  we  may  find  in  him.  He  was 
too  much  in  the  constant  heat  of  the  battle,  to  see  all  that 
we  see  now.  He  was  not  a  philosopher  himself,  but  he 
helped  philosophy  to  some  wise  conclusions.  He  did  not 
stand  at  the  highest  point  of  toleration,  or  of  moral 
wisdom ;  but,  with  his  masculine  active  arm,  he  helped  to 
lift  his  successors  over  obstructions  which  had  stayed  his 
own  advance.  He  stood,  in  his  opinions  and  in  his  actions, 
alone  and  apart  from  his  fellow-men ;  but  it  was  to  show 
his  fellow-men  of  later  times  the  value  of  a  juster  and 
larger  fellowship,  and  of  more  generous  modes  of  action. 
And  when  he  now  retreated  from  the  world  Without  to 
the  world  Within,  in  the  solitariness  of  his  unrewarded 
service  and  integrity,  he  had  assuredly  earned  the  right 
to  challenge  the  higher  recognition  of  Posterity.  He 
was  walking  towards  History  with  steady  feet ;  and  might 
look  up  into  her  awful  face  with  a  brow  unabashed  and 
undismayed. 

Here  was  his  language,  when,  withdrawn  finally  and 
for  ever  from  the  struggle,  he  calmly  reviewed  the  part 
he  had  taken  in  it.  "  I  was,  from  my  first  entering  into 
"  the  knowledge  of  public  matters,  and  have  ever  been  to 
"  this  day,  a  sincere  lover  of  the  constitution  of  my  country ; 
"  zealous  for  Liberty  and  the  Protestant  interest :  but  a 
"  constant  follower  of  moderate  principles,  and  a  vigorous 
"  opposer  of  hot  measures  in  all.  I  never  once  changed 
*'  my  opinion,  my  principles,  or  my  party ;  and  let  what 
"  will  be  said  of  changing  sides,  this  I  maintain,  that  I 
"  never  once  deviated  from  the  Revolution  principles,  nor 
"  from  the  doctrine  of  liberty  and  property  on  which  it 
**  was  founded."     Describing  the  qualities  that  should 


T)C  Foe.'j         MORAL   AND   SOCIAL    WRITIXGS.  143 

distinguisli  a  man  who,  in  those  critical  time?,  elected  so 
to  treat  of  public  affairs,  he  added :  "  Find  him  where 
"  you  will,  this  must  be  his  character.  He  must  be  one 
"  that,  searching  into  the  depths  of  truth,  dare  speak  her 
"  aloud  in  the  most  dangerous  times  ;  that  fears  no  face, 
"  courts  no  favour,  is  subject  to  no  interest,  bigoted  to  no 
"  party,  and  will  be  a  hypocrite  for  no  gain.  I  icill  not 
"  sap  lam  the  man.     I  leave  that  to  posterity." 

His  last  poKtical  Essay  was  written  in  1715  ;  and  while 
the  proof-sheets  lay  uncorrected  before  him,  he  was 
struck  with  apoplexy.  After  some  months'  danger  he 
rallied ;  and  in  the  three  following  years  sent  forth  a 
series  of  works,  chiefly  moral  and  religious,  and  of  which 
the  Family  Instructor  and  the  Religious  Courtship  may  be 
mentioned  as  the  types,  which  were  excellently  adapted 
to  a  somewhat  limited  purpose,  and  are  still  in  very  high 
esteem.  They  are  far  too  numerous  even  for  recital  here. 
They  had  extraordinary  popularity ;  went  through  count- 
less editions  ;  and  found  their  way  not  only  in  handsome 
setting-forth  to  the  King's  private  library,  but  on  rough 
paper  to  all  the  fairs  and  markets  of  the  kingdom.  In 
the  fact  that  Goldsmith  makes  his  lively  Livy  Primrose 
as  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  dialogue  in  Religious 
Courtship y  as  she  is  with  the  argument  of  man  Friday  and 
his  Master  in  Robinson  Crusoe,  and  with  the  disputes  of 
Thwackum  and  Square  in  Tom  Jones,  we  may  see  in  what 
vogue  they  continued  to  that  date.  But  beyond,  and  up 
to  the  beginning  of  the  century,  they  were  generally 
among  the  standard  prize  books  of  schools ;  and  might  be 
seen  lying  in  coarse  workman-garb,  with  Pomfrefs  Poems 
or  Hervey's  Meditations,  on  the  window-seat  of  any  trades- 
man's house.  Grave  moral  and  religious  questions  had, 
in  truth,  not  before  been  approached  with  anything  like 
that  dramatic  liveliness  of  manner.  To  the  same  popu- 
larity were  also  in  later  years  committed,  such  half- 
satirical,  half-serious  books,  as  the  Political  History  of  the 
Devil;  of  which,  strong  plain  sense,  and  a  desire  to 
recommend,  by  liveliness  of  treatment,  the  most  homely 
and  straightforward  modes  of  looking  into  moral  and  reli- 
gious questions,  were  again  the  distinguishing  charac- 
teristics. Other  works  of  miscellaneous  interest  will  be 
found  recited  in  the  careful  catalogue  of  De  Foe's  \vritings 


144  PICTURES   OF    MIDDLE    CLASS   LIFE.         \_Daniel 

(upwards  of  two  hundred  in  all)  compiled  by  Mr.  Walter 
"Wilson.  The  most  remarkable  of  these  was  probably  the 
Complete  English  Tradesmany  in  which  you  see  distinctly 
reflected  many  of  the  most  solid  and  striking  points  of 
De  Foe's  own  character ;  and,  let  us  add,  of  the  general 
character  of  our  middle-class  countrymen.  The  plays  of 
Heywood,  Massinger,  and  Ben  Jonson,  do  not  give  us  the 
citizens  of  their  time  more  vividly,  nor  'better  contrast  the 
staidness  and  the  follies  of  old  and  of  young,  than  De  Foe 
has  here  accomplished  for  the  traders  of  William  and 
Anne.  We  are  surprised  to  be  told  that  this  book  was 
less  popular  than  others  of  its  class ;  but  perhaps  a  certain 
surly  vein  of  satire  which  was  in  it,  was  the  reason.  A 
book  which  tends,  however  justly,  to  satirize  any  com- 
munity iu  general,  readers  included,  is  dangerous  to  its 
author's  popularity,  however  the  public  may  like  satire  in 
particular,  or  when  aimed  at  special  classes.  Our  hasty 
summary  would  be  incomplete,  without  a  reference  to  his 
many  publications  on  points  of  domestic  economy,  and  on 
questions  of  homely,  domestic  morals ;  to  his  occasional 
satires  in  verse ;  or  to  a  timely  and  powerful  series  of 
strictures  on  London  Life,  in  which  he  earnestly  sug- 
gested the  necessity  of  a  Metropolitan  University,  of  a 
.FoundHng  Hospital,  and  of  a  well- organised  system  of 
'Police.  He  also  again  attacked  the  stage,  on  the  success 
of  the  Beggar  8  Opera ;  and  here,  confusing  a  little  the 
prose  and  poetry  of  the  matter,  made  that  excellent  piece 
responsible  for  a  coarse  drama  on  the  subject  of  the  re- 
cently hanged  Jack  Sheppard.*     In  this  discussion  he 


^  *' Our  rogues,"  he  says,    "are  '*  dency  than  the  former:   for  in 

"  grown  more  wicked  than  ever  ;  *'  this.  Jack  Sheppard  is  made  the 

"and  vice  of  all  kinds  is  so  much  "head   of    the    drama,   and    runs 

*'  winked   at,    that  robbery  is  ac-  "  through  such  a  scene  of  riot  and 

' '  counted  a  pretty  crime.    We  take  * '  success,  that  but  too  many  weak 

' '  pains  to  puff  them  up  in  their  vii'-  ' '  minds  have  been   drawn  away  ; 

"  lainy  ;  and  there  is  one  set  out  in  "and    many    unwary    persons    so 

"  so  amiable  a  light  in  the  ^cf/^ar's  "charmed  with  his  appearance  on 

' '  Opera,    it  has  taught  them   to  *  *  the  stage,  dressed  in  that  elegant 

"  value  themselves  on  their  profes-  "manner,  and  his  pockets  so  well 

"  sion,  rather  than  to  be  ashamed  "  lined,   they  have  forthwith  com- 

"  of  it.     Not  content  with  the  mis-  "  menced  street-robbers   or  house- 

"  chief  done  by  the  ^e^.7ar's  0/)era,  "  breakei's  ;  so  that  every  idle  fel- 

**  we  must  have  a  Quaker's   Opera  "  low,  weary  of  honest  labour,  need 

"  forsooth,  of  much  more  evil  ten-  "  but  fancy  himself  a  Macheath  or 


De  Foe.l^        series  of  works  of  fiction.  145 

again  encountered  his  old  enemy,  now  the  Dean  of  St. 
Patrick's;  and,  moving  the  spleen  of  Swift's  dearest 
friend,  got  himself  niched  in  the  Dimciad.  But  the  as- 
sailant lived  to  regret  it  more  than  the  assailed,  and  to 
confess  to  his  friend  Spence,  that,  out  of  aU  the  countless 
works  written  hy  "  restless  Daniel,"  there  was  not  one 
that  did  not  contain  some  good, — in  other  words,  that  did 
not  brand  reproach  on  the  man  who  had  stigmatised  their 
author  as  a  dunce. 

Meanwhile,  concurrently  with  these  works,  there  had 
appeared  a  more  memorable  series  from  the  same  untiring 
hand.  In  1719,  being  then  in  his  fifty-eighth  year,  he 
had  given  Rohinson  Crusoe  to  the  world ;  but  not  until  he 
had  first  wearily  gone  the  round  of  all  the  trade,  and  at 
last,  with  enormous  difficulty,  had  found  a  purchaser  and 
publisher.  Paternoster  Pow  is  not  bound  to  find  out  the 
value  of  genius,  until  it  begins  to  sell.  With  Rohinson 
Crusoe's  successors  there  was  less  difficulty.  In  1720  he 
had  published  the  Life  and  Piracies  of  Captain  Singleton; 
the  Dumb  Philosopher ;  and  Duncan  Camphell.  In  1721, 
the  Fortunes  and  Misfortunes  of  Moll  Flanders.  In  1722, 
the  Life  and  Adventures  of  Colonel  Jack;  and  the  Journal 
of  the  Plague  Year.  In  1723,  the  Memoirs  of  a  Cavalien, 
In  1724,  Roxana.     In  1725,  the  New  Voyage  round  the  , 

World.    And  in  1728,  the  Life  of  Captain  C^mMojh.   He  SW^j^U 
was  at  work  upon  a  new  production  at  the  close  of  1729, 
as  we  shall  shortly  see,  and  apologises  to  his  printer  for 
having  delayed  the  proofs  through  "  exceeding  illness." 
It  never  appeared. 

Of  Rohinson  Crusoe  it  is  needless  to  speak.  Was  there 
ever  any  thing  written  by  mere  man  but  this,  asked  Doctor 
Johnson,  that  was  wished  longer  by  its  readers  ?     It  is  a 

"  a  Sheppard,  and  there's  a  rogue  "pattern."    Gay  sneered  at  De  Foe, 

**  at  once."     It  is    rather  curious  as  a  fellow  who  had  excellent  natural 

that  in  the  same  pamphlet  De  Foe  parts,  but  wanted  a  small  founda- 

makes  a  concession  we  would  hardly  tion  of  learning  ;   and   as  a  lively 

have  expected  from  his  earlier  op-  instance  of  those  wits  who,   as  an 

position  to  all  stage  performances.  ingenious  author  says,  "will  endure 

"  Since  example  has  so  much  force,"  "  but  one  skimming  :  "  with  which 

he  says,   "the  stage  should  exhibit  sneer  the  judicious  reader  may  pro- 

"  nothing  but  what  might  be  repre-  bably   be   disposed   to  connect  the 

"  sented  before  a  bishop.   They  may  passage  just   quoted  from  De  Foe 

"  be  merry    and   wise  ;   let  them  about  Gay's  masterpiece. 
"  take  the  Provoked  Husband  for  a 


146 


ROBINSON   CRUSOE. 


[Daniel 


standard  piece  in  every  European  language;  its  popu- 
larity has  extended  to  every  civilized  nation.  The  tra- 
veller Burckhardt  found  it  translated  into  Arabic,  and 
heard  it  read  aloud  among  the  wandering  tribes  in  the 
cool  hours  of  evening.  It  is  devoured  by  every  boy;  and, 
as  long  as  a  boy  remains  in  the  world,  he  will'  clamour 
for  Robinson  Crusoe.  It  sinks  into  the  bosom  while  the 
bosom  is  most  capable  of  pleasurable  impressions  from 
the  adventurous  and  the  marvellous ;  and  no  human  work, 
we  honestly  believe,  has  afforded  such  great  delight. 
Neither  the  Iliad  nor  the  Odyssey,  in  the  much  longer 
course  of  ages,  has  incited  so  many  to  enterprise,  or  to 
reHance  on  their  own  powers  and  capacities.  It  is  the 
romance  of  solitude  and  self-sustainment ;  and  could  only 
so  perfectly  have  been  written  by  a  man  whose  own  life  * 


^  That  De  Foe  in  some  sort  intend- 
ed the  adventures,  even  of  the  first 
part  of  Eobinson  Crusoe,  as  a  kind  of 
type  of  what  the  dangers  and  vicissi- 
tudes and  surprising  escapes  of  his 
own  life  had  been,  appears  to  be  con- 
fessed in  his  Crusoe's  Serious  Reflec- 
tions. Towards  the  close  of  that  book 
l^is  unmistakeable  passage  occurs : — 
"  Had  the  common  way  of  writing 
"  a  man's  history  been  taken,  and 
"  I  had  given  you  the  conduct  or 
*'  life  of  a  man  you  knew,  and 
"  whose  misfortunes  and  infirmi- 
*'  ties  perhaps  you  had  sometimes 
"  unjustly  triumphed  over,  all  I 
*'  could  have  said  would  have 
"  yielded  no  diversion,  and  perhaps 
"  scarce  have  obtained  a  reading, 
"or  at  best  no  attention ;  the 
"  teacher,  like  a  greater,  having 
"  no  honour  in  his  own  country." 
But  more  explicit  and  remarkable 
still,  is  the  preface  to  this  same 
work,  in  which,  speaking  of  the 
objection  that  had  been  urged 
against  the  former  volumes  oi Robin- 
son Crusoe  as  wholly  fictitious,  he 
adds  that  "  the  story,  though  alle- 
*'  gorical,  is  also  historical.  It  is 
"the  beautiful  representation  of  a 
' '  life  of  unexampled  misfoi-tunes, 
"  and  of  a  variety  not  to  be  met 
**  with  in  the  world.  Farther, 
"  there  is  a  man  alive,  and  well 


"  known  too,  the  actions  of  whose 
"  life  are  the  subject  of  these  vol- 
"  umes,  and  to  whom  all  or  most 
_  * '  part  of  the  story  most  directly 
'"alludes."  He  then  recounts  a 
number  of  particulars  necessary 
for  the  purposes  of  his  narrative  ; 
and  says:  "The  adventures  of 
"Robinson  Crusoe  are  one  whole 
"  scene  of  real  life  of  eight-and- 
"  twenty  years,  spent  in  the  most 
"wandering,  desolate,  and  afflict- 
' '  ing  circumstances  that  ever  a  man 
"  went  through  ;  and  in  which  I 
' '  have  lived  so  long  a  life  of  won- 
"  ders,  in  continual  storms  ;  fought 
"  with  the  worst  kind  of  savages 
"  and  man-eaters,  by  unaccountable 
"surprising  incidents;  fed  by 
"  miracles  greater  than  that  of 
"  raveng  ;  suffered  all  manner  of 
"  violences  and  oppressions,  inju- 
"  rious  reproaches,  contempt  of 
"  men,  attacks  of  devils,  corrections 
"  from  heaven,  and  oppositions  on 
"  earth  ;  have  had  innumerable  ups 
"  and  downs  in  matters  of  fortune, 
"  been  in  worse  slavery  than  Turk- 
' '  ish,  escaped  by  as  exquisite  man- 
"  agement  as  that  in  the  story  of 
"  Xury  and  the  boat  of  Salee,  been 
"  taken  up  at  sea  in  distress,  raised 
"  again  and  depressed  again,  and 
"  that  oftener  perhaps  in  one  man's 
' '  life  than  ever  was  known  before  ; 


De  Foe.'j   art  of  natural  story-telling.  147 

had  for  the  most  part  been  passed  in  the  independence  of 
unaided  thought,  accustomed  to  great  reverses,  of  inex- 
haustible resource  in  confronting  calamities,  leaning  ever 
on  his  Bible  in  sober  and  satisfied  belief,  and  not  afraid 
at  any  time  to  find  himself  Alone,  in  communion  with 
nature  and  with  Gfod.  Nor  need  we  here  repeat,  what 
has  been  said  so  well  by  many  critics,  that  the  secret  of 
its  fascination  is  its  Reality.  The  same  is  to  be  said,  in 
a  no  less  degree,  of  the  Mistoty  of  the  Plague;  which,  for 
the  grandeur  of  the  theme  and  the  profoundly  afi'ecting 
familiarity  of  its  treatment,  for  the  thrilling  and  homely 
touches  which  paint  at  once  the  moral  and  the  physical 
terrors  of  a  pestilence,  is  one  of  the  noblest  prose  epics 
of  the  language.  These  are  the  masterpieces  of  De  Foe. 
These  are  the  works  wherein  his  power  is  at  the  highest, 
and  which  place  him  not  less  among  the  practical  benefac- 
tors than  among  the  great  writers  of  our  race.  "  Why,  this 
"  man  could  have  founded  a  colony  as  well  as  governed  it," 
said  a  statesman  of  the  succeeding  century,  amazed  at  the 
knowledge  of  various  kinds,  and  at  the  intimate  acquaint- 
ance with  all  useful  arts,  displayed  in  Robinson  Crusoe.  Nor, 
within  the  more  limited  range  they  occupy,  is  power  less 
manifest  in  his  other  fictions.  While  undoubtedly  open 
to  objections  on  a  different  score,  the  Moll  Flanders,  the 
Colonel  Jack, .  and  the  Roxana,  are  not  less  decisive 
examples  of  a  wonderful  genius.  In  their  day,  too,  they 
had  no  unwise  or  hurtful  efi'ect ;  for  certainly  they  had  a 
tendency  to  produce  a  more  indulgent  morality,  and 
larger  fair  play  to  bad  and  good.  That  we  question  the 
wisdom  of  now  reviving  them  as  they  were  written,  we 
will  frankly  confess  ;  but,  as  models  of  fictitious  narrative, 
in  common  with  all  the  writings  of  De  Foe  they  are 
supreme.  The  art  of  natural  story-telling,  which  can 
discard  every  resort  to  mere  writing  or  reflection,  and  rest 
solely  on  what  people,  in  peculiar  situations,  say  and  do, 
just  as  if  there  were  no  reader  to  hear  all  about  it,  has 
had  no  such  astonishing  illustrations.  High  authorities 
have  indeed  thought  them  entitled  to  still  higher  dignity. 

"ship-wrecked  often,  though  more  "allusion    to   a  real    story,    and 

"  by  land  than  by  sea  ; — in  a  word,  "  chimes  part  for  part,  and  step  for 

*'  there  is  not  a  circumstance  in  the  **  step,  with  the  inimitable  life  of 

"  imaginary  story  but  has  its  just  *'  Robinson  Crusoe.". 


/V 


^*^   OF  THE^^^!)^ 


148  FATHER   OF   THE    ENGLISH   NOVEL.         [Daniel 

Some  one  asked  Doctor  E/obertson  to  advise  him  as  to  a 
good  historical  style.  "  Eead  De  Foe,"  replied  the  great 
historian.  Colonel  Jack's  life  has  been  commonly  re- 
printed in  the  genuine  accounts  of  highwaymen;  Lord 
Chatham  thought  the  Cavalier  a  real  person,  and  his 
description  of  the  civil  wars  the  best  in  the  language ; 
Doctor  Mead  quoted  the  book  upon  the  Plague  as  the 
.  ^  .  narrative  of  an  eyewitness ;  and  Doctor  Johnson  sat  up  all 
'  ^' ' "  night  over  Captain ^nrl fttny) ^c^  tti p-m oi rs,  as  a  new  work  of 
t^h  '"^^^  English  history  he  wondered  not  to  have  seen  before.  In 
-  ^tiUL  particular  scenes,  too,  of  the  three  tales  we  are  more 
'  immediately  considering  (those  of  the  prison  in  Moll 
Flanders,  of  Susannah  in  Roxana,  and  of  the  boyhood  in 
Colonel  Jack),  the  highest  masters  of  prose,  fiction  have 
never  surpassed  them  either  in  power  or  in  pathos,  in  the 
subtle  portraiture  of  humanity  or  in  a  profound  acquaint- 
ance with  life.  But  it  will  remain  the  chief  distinction 
of  De  Foe  to  have  been,  in  these  minor  tales  of  English 
scenes  and  manners,  the  father  of  the  illustrious  family 
of  the  English  Novel.  Swift  directly  copied  from  him ; 
Richardson  founded  his  style  of  minute  narrative  wholly 
upon  him ;  Fielding,  Smollett,  Sterne,  and  Goldsmith, — 
Godwin,  Scott,  Bulwer,  and  Dickens, — have  been  more  or 
less  indebted  to  him.  Shall  we  scruple  to  add,  then,  that 
'  while  he  remains  unapproached  in  his  two  great  master- 
pieces, he  has  been  surpassed  in  his  minor  works  by  these 
his  successors?  His  language  is  as  easy  and  copious, 
but  less  elegant  and  harmonious;  his  insight  into  cha- 
racter is  as  penetrating,  but  not  so  penetrating  into  the 
heart ;  his  wit  and  irony  are  as  playful,  but  his  humour 
is  less  genial  and  expansive ;  and  he  wants  the  delicate 
fancy,  the  richness  of  imagery,  the  sympathy,  the  truth, 
and  depth  of  feeling,  which  will  keep  the  later  Masters  of 
our  English  Novel  the  delightful  companions,  the  gentle 
monitors,  the  welcome  instructors,  of  future  generations. 
So  true  it  is,  that  every  great  writer  promotes  the  next 
great  writer  one  step;  and  in  some  cases  gets  himself 
superseded  by  him. 

While  his  gigantic  labours  were  in  progress,  De  Foe 
seems  to  have  lived  almost  wholly  at  his  favourite  New- 
ington.  His  writings  had  been  profitable.  He  got  little 
for  Rohimon  Crusoe,  but  was  paid  largely  for  its  successors. 


De  Foe.'\  living  at  newington. 


149 


We  have  occasional  glimpses  of  him  still  engaged  in  mer- 
cantile speculation ;  purchasing  and  assigning  leases ; 
disposing  of  South  Sea  stock  ;  and  otherwise  attending  to 
worldly  affairs.  But  we  do  not  see  him  steadily  till  1724  ; 
and  our  manner  of  seeing  him  then,  heing  peculiar  and 
characteristic,  will  bear  somewhat  of  detailed  relation. 

A  young  gentleman  named  Baker,  known  in  later  years 
as  a  somewhat  celebrated  philosophical  inquirer,  a  writer 
on  the  microscope,  and  principal  founder  of  the  Society  of 
Arts,  introduces  the  great  author  to  us  at  this  time.  En- 
gaged at  the  outset  of  his  life  as  a  tutor  in  two  families, 
Mr.  Henry  Baker  divided  each  week  between  Enfield  and 
Newington  ;  and,  as  he  informs  us  in  the  MS.'  narrative 
from  which  we  derive  these  facts,  "  at  both  places  I  soon 
"became  acquainted  with  all  the  people  of  fashion ; "  when 
suddenly,  at  one  of  the  fashionable  abodes  in  this  sub- 
urban world,  he  tumbled  over  head  and  ears  in  love  with 
a  charmingly  pretty  girl,  the  youngest  of  three  daughters 
who  lived  in  a  large  and  handsome  house  in  Church- 
street,  which  their  father  had  newly-built.*    The  father 


*  This  manuscript,  in  the  hand- 
writing of  Mr.  Baker  himself,  exactly 
as  left  by  him,  is  now  in  my  pos- 
session. Only  a  few  lines  from  it 
were  quoted  by  Mr.  Wilson  in  his 
biography  of  De  Foe.     [I860.] 

2  The  fact  of  his  having  newly 
built  it  has  been  doubted,  but  his 
son-in-law's  authority  ought  to  be 
accepted  on  this  point.  He  certainly 
did  not  occupy  it  till  shortly  before 
the  time  mentioned.  It  is  still 
standing.  It  is  the  one  which  was 
occupied  by  the  late  Mr.  William 
Frend,  of  the  Rock  life-office,  and 
which  his  widow  continued  to  oc- 
cupy. It  is  on  the  south  side  of 
Church-street,  a  little  to  the  east  of 
Lordship-lane  or  road,  and  has 
about  four  acres  of  ground  attached, 
bounded  on  the  west  by  a  narrow 
footway,  once  (if  not  still)  called 
Cut-throat-lane.  Or  it  may  be 
identified  thus  :  take  the  map  of 
Stoke  Newington  in  Robinson's 
history  of  that  place,  London, 
1820,  8vo,  and  look  directly  below 
the    first   "e"    in  Church-street. 


Among  the  papers  by  which  the 
house  is  held,  is  the  copy  of  the 
enrolment  of  a  surrender  to  the 
lord  of  the  manor  dated  February 
26,  1740,  in  which  the  house  is 
described  as  "  heretofore  in  the 
"tenure  or  occupation  of  Daniel 
"  Defoe.''  Dr.  Price  lived  for  some 
years  in  it,  as  the  domestic  chaplain 
of  a  subsequent  owner.  These  facts 
I  derive  from  the  very  useful,  well- 
informed,  and  well-conducted  Notes 
and  Queries,  iv.  299-300.  A 
whimsical  proof  was  given,  not  long 
ago,  of  the  interest  with  which  the 
name  of  De  Foe  still  surrounds  this 
unpicturesque  house  in  an  unpoeti- 
cal  locality.  Whimsical  I  call  it, 
but  it  is  also  very  honourable  to  the 
pilgrims  from  over  distant  seas  who 
figure  in  it,  and  who  display  such 
enthusiasm  for  the  memory  of  the 
great  writer  and  popular  advocate, 
in  whom  they  have  a  common  pro- 
perty with  ourselves.  The  anec- 
dote was  originally  told  me  by  my  old 
friend.  Sir  James  Emerson  Tennent, 
who  kindly  re-tells  it  here  at  my 


160  A  FAMILY  PICTURE.  [Daniel 

was  an  old  gentleman  of  sixty-four  years,  afflicted  with 
gout  and  stone,  but  very  cheerful,  still  very  active,  with 
mental  faculties  in  sharp  abundance,  keeping  a  handsome 
coach,  paying  away  much  money  in  acts  of  charity,  and 
greatly  given  to  the  cultivation  of  a  large  and  pleasant 
garden.     This  was  Daniel  De  Foe. 

As  Mr.  Baker's  manuscript  narrative  of  these  scenes 
of  his  youth  is  before  us,  we  will  transcribe  one  or  two 
brief  passages.     "  Amongst  the  first  who  desired  his  ac- 

"  quaintance  at  JN'ewington  was  Mr.  D ,  a  gentleman 

"  well  known  by  his  writings,  who  had  newly  built  there 
"  a  very  handsome  house,  as  a  retirement  from  London, 
"  and  amused  his  time  either  in  the  cultivation  of  a  large 
"  and  pleasant  garden,  or  in  the  pursuit  of  his  studies, 
"  which  he  found  means  of  making  very  profitable.  He 
"  was  now  at  least  sixty  years  of  age,  afflicted  with  the 
"  gout  and  stone,  but  retained  all  his  mental  faculties 
"  entire.  Mr.  B  readily  accepted  his  invitation,  and  was 
"  so  pleased  vdth  his  conversation,  that  he  seldom  came 

*'  to  Newington  without  paying  a  visit  to  Mr.  D ,  and 

"  met  usually  at  the  tea-table  his  three  lovely  daughters, 
"  who  were  admired  for  their  beauty,  their  education, 
"  and  their  prudent   conduct.     And  if  sometimes   Mr. 

"  D 's  disorders  made  company  inconvenient,  Mr.  B 

"  was  entertained  by  them  either  singly  or  together,  and 

request.     *' The  incident  of  wMch  **  pelled  by  their   respect  for  the 

*'  you  remind  me,  in  connexion  with  "  name  of  his  illustrious  predeces- 

"  the^nemory  of  De  Foe,  was  this.  "  sor  in  it,  to  beg  that  they  might 

"  A  friend  of  mine  lately  told  me  "be   permitted  to   spend  a  little 

*'  that  the  gentleman  residing  in  De  "  time  in  the  dwelling-place  of  so 

**  Foe's  house  at  Newington,  about  '*  eminent    a    man.      Assent  was 

* '  two  years  back,  was  one  forenoon  * '  readily    given ;    whereupon  they 

' '  surprised  by  a  visit  from  a  party  '  *  said  that  already  they  had  ven- 

*' of  Americans,   who  drove  to  his  **  tured  to  anticipate  that,  by  bring- 

*' door  in  a  hired  carriage.     They  "ing  a  pic-nic   hamper  in   their 

"  drew  up  in  front,  knocked,  and  "  carriage — and  their  satisfaction 

"requested  to  see  the  proprietor.  "  was  complete  on  permission  being 

"On  making  bis  appearance,  the  "  granted  to  carry  it  into  the  garden, 

"  spokesman  said  he  presumed  they  *'  where  the  explosion  of  cork,  and 

"  were  right  in  supposing  that  this  "other    corresponding    symptoms, 

"  was  the  house  of  Daniel  De  Foe  ?  "  speedily  gave  evidence  of  the  sin- 

* '  — And  being  assured  of  the  fact,  *  *  cerity  with  which  they  had  made 

"  he  went  on  to  say  that  he  and  his  "  this  very  matter-of-fact  pilgrimage 

"  companions,  from  the  new  coun-  "  to  the  home  of  the  great  novelist 

"  try,  had  waited  on  him  as  the  "  and  patriot." 
"  occupant  of  that  mansion,  im- 


De  Foe.'\  proposal  for  his  You^^GEST  daughter.  151 

''  that  commonly  in  tlie  garden  when  the  weather  was 
"  favourable."  AYith  what  follows,  the  reader  need  not 
be  troubled.  But  with  prospects  of  unequalled  bliss  came 
also  trouble  to  Mr.  Baker.  Slave  as  he  was  become  to 
the  tender  passion,  he  had  a  sober  reflective  turn  of  mind. 
"  He  knew  nothing  of  Mr.  D — 's  circumstances,  only 
"  imagined  from  his  very  genteel  way  of  living  that  he 
"  must  be  able  to  give  his  daughter  a  decent  portion." 
Mr.  D —  was  accordingly  spoken  to  as  soon  as  hope  was 
received  of  the  young  lady's  approval.  The  young  lady 
herself  indeed  made  his  consent  the  first  condition  of  her 
own ;  and,  even  more  than  the  "  genteel  way  of  living  " 
in  this  grave  and  good  dissenter's  household,  we  are 
pleased  and  arrested  by  the  picture  presented  to  us  of  a 
kindly  controul,  and  affectionate  yet  prudent  discipline,  in 
the  father  and  chief  disposer  of  the  house. 

The  first  thought  of  parting  with  his  youngest  daughter 
sorely  troubled  De  Foe.  He  called  her  the  dearest  jewel 
he  possessed,  and  by  other  playful  and  loving  names.  But 
then  he  spoke  of  his  own  age  and  infirmities,  and  how 
precarious  his  life  was  become,  and  finally,  with  touching 
reiteration  that  Mr.  Baker  must  ^'  use  her  kindly,"  per- 
mitted him  to  urge  his  suit.  He  should  not  take  her,  he 
added,  like  a  charity  girl,  with  nothing.  She  should  have, 
even  during  her  father's  life,  at  least  five  hundred  pounds ; 
and  Mr.  Baker  (who  had  already  managed  to  save  a 
thousand  pounds  out  of  his  employment)  must  add  the 
same  sum,  to  be  settled  and  set  apart  to  her  use  in  case 
of  accident.  "  I  wish  I  could  promise  more,"  said  the 
old  man,  "  but  what  she  wants  in  money,  I  hope  she  will 
"  make  up  in  goodness  ;  and  if  she  proves  as  good  a  wife 
"  as  she  has  been  a  child,  her  husband  will  be  a  happy 
"  man." 

Mr.  Baker's  suit  prospered,  but  not  with  such  unin- 
terrupted smoothness  as  to  invalidate  the  poet's  rule. 
After  some  Little  time  he  preferred  a  request  to  De  Foe 
"  to  order  proper  settlements  to  be  drawn  up  in  the 
"  manner  he  had  proposed ;  when  his  answer  was,  that 
"formal  articles  he  thought  unnecessary;  that  he  could 
"  confide  in  the  honour  of  Mr.  B  ;  that  when  they  talked 
"  before,  he  did  not  know  the  true  state  of  his  own  affairs ; 
"  that  on  due  consideration  he  found  he  could  not  part 


152         DISPUTE    OVER    MARRIAGE    SETTLEMENTS.    [Daniel 

"  witli  any  money  in  present,  but  at  his  death  his  daughter 
"  Sophy's  share  would  be  more  than  he  had  promised." 
Bemembering  the  hard  struggle  of  the  great  writer's  life, 
the  old  claims  from  mercantile  adventure  which  hung  over 
him  still  unsatisfied,  and  the  difl&culties  of  protecting  the 
property  in  literature  which  more  lately  he  had  acquired, 
there  was  nothing  in  what  he  is  thus  reported  to  have 
said  that  should  have  raised  a  suspicion  of  his  good  faith. 
The  result  too  early  and  sadly  showed  that  he  had 
indeed  been  sanguine  in  his  first  estimate,  and  that 
he  had  not  remembered  correctly  the  state  of  his  aff'airs. 
But,  to  Mr.  Baker,  nothing  was  visible  or  admissible 
but  his  own  disappointment  ;  and  in  remonstrance 
and  complaint  thereon  he  was  eager  and  persistent. 
"  Sir,"  interrupted  De  Foe  at  last,  "  if  you  will  take 
"  my  daughter,  you  must  take  her  as  I  can  give  her." 
"  Never  was  father  so  indulgent  as  he  has  been  to  me  !  " 
cried  Sophy  De  Foe  through  her  tears,  when  her  too 
prudent  wooer  related  his  disappointment  that  evening 
in  the  garden. 

"  This  was  the  beginning,"  says  Mr.  Baker,  "  of  that 
"  long  uneasiness  they  both  suffered,"  and  which  carried 
with  it  the  moral,  that  a  young  gentleman  may  err  even  in 
excess  of  prudence.  "  Several  proposals,"  he  adds,  "  were 
*'  made  at  different  times  by  Mr.  D —  and  Mr.  B  for  ac- 
"  commodating  this  matter  ;  but  each  new  proposal  only 
"  occasioned  new  perplexity  :  for,  when  everything  seemed 
"  agreed  on,  Mr.  D —  would  give  no  security  but  his  single 
"  bond  for  the  due  performance  of  articles,  tho'  he  had  an 
"  estate  in  Essex,  and  a  new-built  house  at  Newington, 
*'  either  of  which  would  have  been  a  satisfactory  security  ; 
"  but  he  pretended  these  were  already  settled  for  family 
"  purposes,  which  he  could  not  break  through.  At  length, 
''  however,  after  almost  two  years,  Mr.  D —  consented  to 
"  engage  his  house  at  Newington  as  a  security ;  and, 
"  articles  being  accordingly  executed,  the  marriage  was 
"  celebrated  April  30,  1729." 

If  the  opening  date  given  by  Mr.  Baker  is  correct,  the 
courtship  of  the  young  philosopher  had  lasted  nearly  five 
years.  But  not  the  least  pointed  touches  occurred  at  its 
close,  and  Mr.  Baker's  modesty  has  omitted  them.  When 
all  had  been  arranged,  and  the  bond  only  waited  to  be 


De  Foe,~\  letter  on  parting  with  his  daughter.  153 

signed/  tlie  thrifty  young  gentleman  insisted  that  it 
should  bear  interest  at  five  per  cent,  whereas  De  Foe  had 
special  family  reasons  for  limiting  it  to  four ;  and  eight 
more  months  appear  to  have  passed  before  this  new  diffi- 
culty vanished.  The  authority  for  so  appropriate  a  sequel 
to  Mr.  Baker's  narrative,  which  otherwise  it  strikingly 
confirms,  is  a  letter  by  De  Foe  himself,  here  for  the  first 
time  published ;'  fuU  of  character  ;  and,  of  the  very  few  of 
his  private  letters  that  have  been  preserved  to  us,  decidedly 
the  most  agreeable  in  its  tone  and  turns  of  expression. 
It  is  written  in  a  firm  strong  hand,  and  is  addressed  to 
Mr.  Henry  Baker.  De  Foe  was  now  in  his  sixty-eighth 
year  ;  it  is  the  last  picture  of  the  great  author  which  we 
shall  be  able  to  contemplate  without  sorrow ;  and  we  may 
perhaps  account  it  as  no  small  gain  that  a  long  life  of  so 
much  struggle  and  vicissitude,  should  have  left  so  far  un- 
impaired the  manifest  spirit  of  domestic  enjoyment  and 
quiet  thankfulness,  which  shines  through  a  letter  written 
so  near  its  close. 

Sir, — I  am  sorry  there  should  be  any  manner  of  room 
for  an  objection  when  we  are  so  near  a  conclusion  of  an 
aff'air  like  this.  I  should  be  very  uneasie,  when  I  give 
you  a  gift  I  so  much  value  (and  I  hope  I  do  not  overrate 
her  neither),  there  should  be  any  reserve  among  us  that 
should  leave  the  least  room  for  unkindness,  or  so  much  as 
thinking  of  unkindness^no,  nor  so  much  as  of  the  word. 

But  there  is  a  family  reason  why  I  am  tyed  down  to 
the  words  of  four  per  cent,  and  I  can  not  think  Mr. 
Baker  should  dispute  so  small  a  matter  with  me  after  I 
tell  him  so,  (viz.)  that  I  am  so  tyed  down.  I  can,  I  be- 
lieve, many  ways  make  him  up  the  little  sum  of  five 
pound  a-year  ;  and  when  I  tell  you  thus  under  my  hand, 
that  I  shall  think  myself  obliged  to  do  it  durante  vita,  I 
shall  add  that  I  shall  think  myself  more  obliged  to  do  so, 
than  if  you  had  it  under  hand  and  seal. 

But,  if  you  are  not  willing  to  trust  me  on  my  parole,  for 

^  A  facsimile  of  De  Foe's  signature  Magazine,  Vol.  82,  part  i,  p.  529. 

to  this  bond  (dated  5th  April,  1729)  ^  pj-Q^  ^\^q  original,   now  in  my 

described  as  "  for  payment  of  £500  possession.     It  had  been  given  by 

"  marriage  portion  of  Sophia  De  Foe  Mr.    Baker's  great  great  grandson 

**  to  Mr.  Henry  Baker  of  Enfield,"  to  the  late    Mr.    Dawson  Turner, 

was  published  in  the  Gentleman's  [I860.] 


154  ^HIS   DEAREST   AND   BEST-BELOVED.         [Daniel 

SO  small  a  sum,  and  tliat  according  to  tlie  Great  Treatys 
abroad,  there  must  be  a  secret  article  in  our  Negotiations 
— I  say  if  it  must  be  so,  I  would  fain  put  myself  in  a 
condition  to  deny  you  nothing,  which  you  can  ask,  beHev- 
ing  you  will  ask  nothing  of  me  which  I  ought  to  deny. 

When  you  speak  of  a  child's  Fortmie,  which  I  own 
you  do  very  modestly,  you  must  give  me  leave  to  say  only 
this,  you  must  accept  of  this  in  bar  of  any  claim  from  the 
City  Customes  ;  and  I  doubt  you  will  have  but  too  much 
reason,  seeing  I  can  hardly  hope  to  do  equally  for  all  the 
rest,  as  I  shall  for  my  dear  Sophie.  But  after  that,  you 
shall  onely  allow  me  to  say,  and  that  you  shall  depend 
upon,  whatever  it  shall  please  God  to  bless  me  with,  none 
shall  have  a  deeper  share  in  it.  And  you  need  do  no 
more  than  remember,  that  she  is,  ever  was,  and  ever  will 
be,  my  Dearest  and  Best  Beloved.  And  let  me  add  again, 
I  hope  you  will  take  it  for  a  mark  of  my  singular  and 
affectionate  concern  for  you,  that  I  thus  give  her  you,  and 
that  I  say  too.  If  I  could  give  her  much  more,  it  should 
be  to   you,  with  the  same   affection. 

Yours  without  flattery, 

August  intky  1728.  "^^  ^      * 

We  have  said  that  here  was  the  last  clear  glimpse  of 
De  Foe  that  we  should  get  without  grief  and  pain.  But  it 
is  not  so.  There  is  one  other  before  the  final  shadow 
falls.  Homely  but  hearty  are  the  words  in  which  a  certain 
honest  old  Thomas  Webb,  after  telling  us  what  he  had 
suffered  by  the  death  of  his  wife,  goes  on  to  tell  us  who  it 
was  that  comforted  and  consoled  him.  "  And  poor  dis- 
"  tressed  I,  left  alone,  and  no  one  to  go  and  speak  to, 
"  save  only  Mr.  Deffoe,  who  hath  acted  a  noble  and 
"  generous  part  towards  me  and  my  poor  children.  The 
"  Lord  reward  him  and  his  with  the  blessings  of  upper 
*'  and  nether  spring,  with  the  blessings  of  his  basket  and 
"  store,''  &c. 

Alas  !  the  basket  and  store  of  De  Foe  were  not  much 
oftener  to  be  replenished  on  this  side  the  grave.  Eight 
months  after  his  letter  about  his  daughter's  marriage,  the 
marriage  took  place,  and  the  next  glimpse  we  get  of  him 
reveals  a  sad  change.  It  is  a  letter  to  his  printer,  Mr.  J. 
Watts,  in  Wild-court,  and  even  in  its  signature  the  bold 


De  Foe.^       correcting  his  last  proofs.  155 

upright  hand  is  broken  down.  He  is  grieved  to  have  de- 
tained the  proofs,  but  he  has  been  exceeding  ill.  He  has 
revised  his  manuscript  again,  and  contracted  it  very  much, 
and  he  hopes  to  bring  it  within  the  bulk  the  printer 
desires.  He  now  sends  him  back  the  first  sheet,  with  as 
much  copy  as  wdll  make  near  three  sheets  more  ;  and  he 
shall  have  all  the  remainder,  so  as  not  to  let  him  stand 
still  at  all.  He  greatly  regrets  the  number  of  alterations 
made  in  the  pages  he  returns,  and  fears  the  corrections 
will  cost  as  much  as  perhaps  setting  the  whole  over  again 
would  be  ;  but  he  will  endeavour  to  send  the  rest  of  the 
copy  so  well  corrected  as  to  give  very  little  trouble. — 
Whether  or  not  he  succeeded  in  that  endeavour,  cannot 
now  be  told ;  for  there  is  no  evidence  that  any  more  than 
that  single  sheet  was  ever  printed.'  It  must  be  enough 
for  us  that  such  was  his  hope  and  his  intention,  and  that 
even  such,  to  the  very  last,  according  to  this  most  cha- 
racteristic letter,  were  the  labours,  the  anxieties,  and  the 
ill-rewarded  toil,  which  followed  this  great  English  author 
up  to  the  very  verge  of  the  grave. 

There  is  but  one  more  letter  of  his  preserved.  Its  date 
is  a  year  later  ;  and  from  this  letter,  also  addressed  to  his 
son-in-law  Baker,'  and  which  is  one  of  the  most  affecting 

^  The  original  manuscript  never-  ' '  '  from    posterity    but  a    name. 

theless  exists,  and  was  lately  sold  ' '  '  Look  at  Daniel  De  Foe  ;  recol- 

to  a  private  purchaser  at  the  sale  of  "  '  lect    him   pilloried,    bankrupt, 

Mr.  Dawson  Turner  of  Great  Yar-  **  '  wearing   away   his   life  to  pay 

mouth,  for  sixty-nine  pounds.     The  "  'his  creditors  in  full,   and  dying 

British  Museum  had  not  the  courage  "'in    the     struggle!  —  and     his 

to  go  beyond  thirty-five.  Its  title  is  "  '  works  live,  imitated,  corrupted, 

The  Complete  Gentleman.     [I860.]  "  '  yet    casting    off   their    stains, 

*  The  eldest  son  of  this  marriage,  ' '  '  not  by  protection  of  law,   but 

David   Erskine   Baker,    so   named  "  '  by    their    own    pure    essence, 

after  his   godfather,  Lord  Buchan,  "  '  Had    every     schoolboy    whose 

wrote  the  Biographia  Dramatica,  "  '  young    imagination    has    been 

or   Companion    to   the  Playhouse.  "  *  prompted   by   his   great  work, 

What  follows  I  transcribe  from  a  "  *  and  whose  heart  has  learned  to 

note   in  the  second   edition  of  my  "  '  throb  in  the  strange  yet  familiar 

Life  of  Goldsmith.     "Pleading  the  "  'solitude  he  created,  given  even 

'  case  of  authors,    and  their  title  ' '  '  the  half-penny  of  the  statute  of 

'  to   a  longer   protection  of  their  "  *  Anne,  there  would  have  been 

*  copyright,  Mr.  Serjeant  Talfoiird  "  '  no  want  of  a  provision  for  his 
'  employed  this  affecting  illustra-  "  *  children,  no  need  of  a  subscrip- 
'  tion.  '  A  man  of  genius  and  in-  "  '  tion  fora  statue  to  his  memory  ! ' 
'  '  tegrity,   who   has  received   all  "As   I   transcribe  these   eloquent 

*  '  insult  and  injury  from  his  con-  "  words  (January,  1854),  I  become 

*  *  temporaries,     obtains    nothing  "  acquainted  with  the  most  strik- 


156 


TREACHERY   OF    A   SON. 


[Daniel 


that  the  English,  language  contains,  we  learn  that  far  be- 
yond poverty,  or  printers,  or  booksellers,  or  any  of  the 
manifold  ills  of  authorship,  the  conduct  of  De  Foe's  second 
son  was  embittering  the  closing  hours  of  his  long  and 
checkered  life.     The  precise  story  is  difficult  to  unravel ; 


' '  ing  practical  comment  which  it 
*'  would  be  possible  for  them  to 
"  receive,  in  the  fact  that  there  is 
"  now  living  in  Kennington,  in 
"  deep  though  tmcom plaining  pov- 
**  erty,  James  De  Foe,  aged  77, 
* '  the  great  grandson  of  the  author 
*'  of  Robinson  Crusoe." — Life  and 
Times  of  Goldsmith,  vol.  ii.  p.  482. 

The  sequel  to  this  note  remains 
(March,  1858)  to  be  given.  Upon 
reading  it,  Mr.  Landor  addressed 
to  the  Times  a  noble  eulogy  on  De 
Foe,  calling  upon  every  schoolboy, 
and  every  man  in  England  who  had 
been  one,  to  give  his  penny  at  once 
to  save  the  descendant  he  had  left 
—  "a  Crusoe  without  a  Friday,  in 
' '  an  island  to  him  a  desert."  I  sub- 
join the  close  of  this  striking  appeal. 

"  Let  our  novelists,  now  the 
"  glory  of  our  literature,  remember 
"  their  elder  brother  Daniel,  and 
"  calculate  (if,  indeed,  the  debt  is 
"  calculable)  what  they  owe  him. 

"  Let  our  historians  ask  them- 
* '  selves  if  no  tribute  is  due,  in  long 
*'  arrear,  to  the  representative  of 
*'  him  who  wrote  the  History  of  the 
**  Plague  in  London.  What  ought 
"to  live  will  live,  what  ought  to 
*'  perish  will  perish.  Marble  is 
"  but  a  wretched  prop  at  best. 
"  Defoe  wants  no  statue,  and  is 
*'  far  beyond  all  other  want. 
*'Alas!  there  is  one  behind  who 
"  is  not  so.  Let  all  contribute 
*'  one  penny  for  one  year;  poor 
"  James  has  lived  seventy-seven, 
*'  and  his  dim  eyes  can  not  look 
'  *  far  into  another. 

"  Persuade,  Sir,  for  you  can 
"more  powerfully  than  any,  the 
"  rich,  the  industrious,  the  studi- 
"  ous,  to  purchase  a  large  store  of 
"  perdurable  happiness  for  them- 
"  selves  by  the  smallest  sum  of  a 
"  day's  expendituie.     The  author 


"  of  that  book  which  has  imparted 
"  to  most  of  them  the  greatest  de- 
*  *  light  of  any,  was  also  the  earliest 
* '  teacher  of  political  economy,  the 
"  first  propouuder  of  free  trade. 
"  He  planted  that  tree,  which, 
"  stationary  and  stunted  for  nearly 
"two  centuries,  is  now  spreading 
"its  shadow  by  degrees  over  all 
"the  earth.  He  was  the  most  far- 
"  sighted  of  our  statesmen,  and  the 
"  most  worthily  trusted  by  the 
"  wisest  of  our  kings.  He  stood 
"  up  for  the  liberty  of  the  press  ; 
"  let  the  press  be  grateful. 

"  It  was  in  the  power  of  Johnson 
"  to  relieve  the  granddaughter  of 
'  *  Milton  :  Sir,  it  is  in  yours  to 
"  prop  up  the  last  scion  of  Defoe. 
"  If  Milton  wrote  the  grandest 
"  poem,  and  the  most  energetic 
"  and  eloquent  prose,  of  any 
"writer  in  any  country;  if  he 
"  stood  erect  before  Tyranny,  and 
"  covered  with  his  buckler,  not 
"  England  only,  but  nascent  na- 
"  tions  ;  if  our  great  prophet  raised 
"  in  vision  the  ladder  that  rose 
"  from  earth  to  heaven,  with  angels 
* '  upon  every  step  of  it ;  lower, 
"  indeed,  but  not  less  useful,  were 
' '  the  energies  of  Defoe.  He  stimu- 
"  lated  to  enterprise  those  colonies 
"  of  England  which  extend  over 
* '  every  sea,  and  which  carry  with 
"  them,  from  him,  the  spirit  and 
* '  the  language  that  will  predomi- 
"  nate  throughout  the  world. 
"  Achilles  and  Homer  will  be  for- 
"  gotten  before  Crusoe  and  Defoe." 

To  this  most  striking  letter  suc- 
ceeded one  by  Mr.  Charles  Knight, 
from  whom  the  information  as  to 
James  De  Foe  originally  reached 
me,  and  who  had  already,  with 
his  characteristic  zeal  in  every  good 
work,  opened  in  conjunction  with 
Mr.  Dickens  a  subscription.     Mr. 


De  Foe.~\         last  melancholy  letter.  157 

— but  what  lie  had  hinted  to  Mr.  Baker,  and  that  too 
cautious  and  wary  gentleman  had  been  so  slow  to  believe, 
of  the  uncertain  condition  of  his  fortune  and  estate,  had 
come  unexpectedly  and  fatally  true.  One  of  his  old  credi- 
tors, "  a  wicked,  perjur'd,  and  contemptible  enemy,"  had 
struck  him  suddenly  with  so  heavy  a  hand,  that,  to  avoid 
utter  shipwreck  of  everything,  he  had  been  fain  to  make 
over  what  he  possessed  to  his  son  in  trust  for  the  joint 
benefit  of  his  two  unmarried  daughters  and  their  mother ; 
and  now  this  trust  the  son  had  betrayed,  had  converted  all 
to  his  own  use,  and  had  reduced  his  mother  and  sisters  to 
beggary.  "  Nothing  but  this  has  conquered  or  could  con- 
"  quer  me.  Et  tu  I  Brute.  I  depended  upon  him,  I  trusted 
**  him,  I  gave  up  my  two  dear  unprovided  children  into  his 
"  hands  ;  but  he  has  no  compassion,  and  sufiers  them  and 
"  their  poor  dying  mother  to  beg  their  bread  at  his  door, 
'*  and  to  crave,  as  if  it  were  an  alms,  what  he  is  bound  under 
"  hand  and  seal,  besides  the  most  sacred  promises,  to  sup- 
"  ply  them  with :  himself,  at  the  same  time,  living  in  a 
*'  profusion  of  plenty.  It  is  too  much  for  me.  Excuse 
"  my  infirmity  ;  I  can  say  no  more,  my  heart  is  too  full. 
"  I  only  ask  one  thing  of  you  as  a  dying  request.  Stand 
"  by  them  when  I  am  gone,  and  let  them  not  be  wronged, 
"  while  he  is  able  to  do  them  right.  Stand  by  them  as  a 
"  brother ;  and  if  you  have  any  thing  within  you  owing 
"  to  my  memory,  who  have  bestow'd  on  you  the  best  gift 
"  I  had  to  give,  let  them  not  be  injured  and  trampled  on 
"  by  false  'pretences,  and  unnatural  reflections.  I  hope 
"  they  will  want  no  help  but  that  of  comfort  and  council ; 
"  but  that,  they  will  indeed  want,  being  too  easy  to  be 
"  managed  by  words  and  promises." 

Even  thus  De  Foe  writes,  from  a  place  near  Greenwich, 
where  he  seems  to  have  been  some  time  wandering  about, 

Landor's  letter  brought  immediate  have  heen  collected,  but  more  was 
and  large  additions  to  it,  and  enough  not  wanted.  James  De  Foe  died  on 
was  obtained  for  the  purpose  de-  the  19th  of  May,  1857.  After  pay- 
sired.  From  the  close  of  January,  ment  of  all  expenses  incident  to  his 
1854,  to  the  middle  of  May,  1857,  illness  and  death,  a  very  small  ba- 
nearly  200Z.  was  paid,  in  small  lance  was  handed  to  his  daughters ; 
sums,  to  the  worthy  old  man  ;  and  an  account  of  the  monies  col- 
whose  needs  were  in  this  way  better  lected  and  distributed  was  then  cir- 
satisfied,  than  if  the  money  in  any  culated  among  the  subscribers,  in 
larger  amount  had  been  placed  at  so  far  as  it  was  prissible  to  reach 
his  disposal.      Aluch   more  might  them,  by  Mr.  Knight  and  myself. 


158  DEATH.  [Daniel  De  Foe. 

alone,  in  want,  and  with,  a  broken  heart.  The  letter,  as  we 
have  said,  is  to  his  son-in-law,  Baker ;  possessor  of  his 
"  best  gift,"  his  dear  daughter,  his  dearest  Sophia,  whom  if 
he  could  but  meet  again,  "  without  giving  her  the  grief  of 
"  seeing  her  father  in  tenebris,  and  under  the  load  of  insup- 
"  portable  sorrows,"  even  those  griefs  might  be  more 
supportable  !  It  closes  thus  :^  "  I  would  say,  I  hope  with 
"  comfort,  that  it  is  yet  well  I  am  so  near  my  journey's  end, 
*'  and  am  hastening  to  the  place  where  the  weary  are  at 
"  rest,  and  where  the  wicked  cease  to  trouble.  Be  it  that 
"  the  passage  is  rough,  and  the  day  stormy,  by  what  way 
"  soever  He  please  to  bring  me  to  the  end  of  it,  I  desire  to 
"  finish  life  with  this  temper  and  soul  in  all  cases — Te 
"  Deiim  laudamus.  May  all  you  do  be  prosperous,  and  all 
"  you  meet  with  pleasant,  and  may  you  both  escape  the 
"  tortures  and  troubles  of  uneasy  life  !  It  adds  to  my 
"  grief  that  I  must  never  see  the  pledge  of  your  mutual 
"  love,  my  little  grandson.  Give  him  my  blessing,  and 
"  may  he  be,  to  you  both,  your  joy  in  youth,  and  your 
"  comfort  in  age,  and  never  add  a  sigh  to  your  sorrow. 
"  Kiss  my  dear  Sophy  once  more  for  me  ;  and,  if  I  must 
"  see  her  no  more,  tell  her  this  is  from  a  father  that  loved 
"  her  above  all  his  comforts,  to  his  last  breath." 

The  money  was  recovered,  and  the  family  again  pros- 
perous ;  but  Daniel  De  Foe  was  gone.  In  his  seventy- 
first  year,  on  the  24th  of  April  1731,  he  had  somehow 
found  his  way  back  to  London — ^to  die  in  that  parish  of 
St.  Giles's,  Cripplegate,'^  wherein  he  was  borri ;  and,  as 
long  as  the  famous  old  city  should  live,  to  live  in  the 
memory  and  admiration  of  her  citizens.    , 

^  It  is  only  just  to  Mr,  Baker  to  place  of  De  Foe's  death   was   not 

add  that  he  seems,  shortly  before  known  to  Mr.  Walter  Wilson.     It 

its  date,  to  have  written  a  "very  took- place   in    Kopemakers'-alley, 

kind  and  affectionate  letter  "  to  his  Moorfields.     Of  this  fact  there  can 

father-in-law,    who   takes   occasion  be  no   reasonable   doubt,  it  being 

in  the  midst  of  his  trouble  to  speak,  so  stated  in  the  Daily  Courant  of 

with  characteristic  felicity  of  phrase,  the  day  following  his  death.     Rope- 

of  his   "kind  manner  and  hinder  makers' -alley  no  longer  exists,  but 

*'  thought  from  which  it  flows.'"  it  stood  about  opposite  to  where  the 

2  Cromwell   was  married  there,  London  Institution  now  stands. 
and  Milton   buried.     The    precise 


SIE  EICHARD  STEELE.' 

1675—1729. 


On  the  Life  and  Writings  of  Addison.    By  Thomas  BABiKaiON  Maoaulat. 
London,  1852. 


Steele  and  Addison  are  among  the  first  ghosts  met  by- 
Fielding  in  his  delightful  Journey  from  this  World  to  the 
next.  A  remark  from  the  spirit  of  Yirgil  having  a  little 
disconcerted  the  bashful  Joseph,  he  has  turned  for  re- 
assurance to  the  spirit  most  familiar  and  best  known  to 
him  on  earth,  when  at  once  Steele  heartily  embraces  him, 
and  tells  him  he  had  been  the  greatest  man  up  in  the 
other  world,  and  that  he  readily  resigned  all  the  merit  of 
his  own  works  to  him.  In  return  Addison  gives  him  a 
gracious  smile,  and,  clapping  him  on  the  back  with  much 
solemnity,  cries  out,  "  Well  said,  Dick."  Fielding  was 
here  laughing  at  the  claim  set  up  by  Addison's  associ- 
ates, when  they  would  have  struck  down  his  old  fellow- 
labourer's  fame,  to  add  to  the  glories  of  his  own.  What 
Steele  said  so  well  for  his  friend,  and  ill  for  himself,  in 
the  other  world,  had  already  been  more  than  broadly 
hinted  in  this,  in  Mr.  Tickell's  celebrated  preface. 

Nevertheless,  Steele's  fame  survived  that  back-handed 
blow.  What  the  Kving  Addison  himself  foretold  came 
true  ;  and,  out  of  party  contentions  so  fierce  that  no 
character  escaped  them  unsullied,  side  by  side,  when 
those  contentions  ceased,  his  friend's  and  his  emerged.' 

1  From  the  (Quarterly  Review,  March  1855.    With  additions. 


'  "Their  personal  friendship  and       '*  ties  they  are  engaged  in  be  at  an 
"  enmities  must  cease,  and  the  par-       "end,   before  their  faults  or  their 


160  TWO  FRIENDS  STRUCK  ASUNDER.  \Sir  Richard 

Thougli  circumstances  favoured  somewliat  tlie  one  against 
the  other,  there  had  come  to  be  a  corner  for  both  in 
almost  all  men's  liking  ;  and  those  "  little  diurnal  essays 
"  which  are  extant  still/'  kept  also  extant,  in  an  equal 
and  famous  companionship,  the  two  foremost  Essayists  of 
England.  A  more  powerful  hand  than  Mr.  TickelFs  now 
strikes  them  rudely  apart.  A  magnificent  eulogy  of 
Addison  is  here  built  upon  a  most  contemptuous  depreci- 
ation of  Steele ;  and  if  we  are  content  to  accept  without 
appeal  the  judgment  of  Mr.  Macaulay's  Essay,  there  is 
one  pleasant  face  the  less  in  our  Walhalla  of  British 
"Worthies. 

For  ourselves  we  must  frankly  say  Not  Content,  and 
our  reasons  shall  be  stated  in  this  article.  Not,  we  dare 
say,  without  partiality  ;  certainly  not  without  frank  and 
full  allowance  for  the  portion  of  evil  which  is  inseparable 
from  all  that  is  good,  and  for  the  something  of  littleness 
mixed  up  with  all  that  is  great,;;^n  one  of  his  most 
charming  essays  Steele  has  himself  reminded  us,  that  the 
word  inijKrfection  should  never  carry  to  the  considerate^ 
man's  heart  a  thought  unkinder  than  the  word  humanity y 
and  we  shall  also  think  it  well  to  remember,  what  wiih 
not  less  wisdom  on  another  occasion  he  remarked,  as  to 
the  prodigious  difference  between  the  figure  the  same 
person  bears  in  our  imagination  when  we  are  pleased 
with  him,  from  that  wherein  we  behold  him  when  we  are 
angry.^  Steele  we  think  eminently  a  man  to  write  or 
speak  of  in  the  mood  of  pleasure. 

But  first  let  Mr.  Macaulay  speak  of  him.  Introducing 
him  as  a  person  only  entitled  to  distinction  as  one  of  the 
chief  members  of  the  small  literary  coterie  to  which 
Addison  was  the  oracle,  and  deriving  from  that  fact  his 

"virtues   can    have    justice    done  "different  parties,  will  then  have 

"them.   .   .     I  cannot  forbear  en-  "the  same  body  of  admirers,  and 

"  tertainiug  myself  very  often  with  "  appear  illustrious  in  the  opinions 

* '  the  idea  of  an  imaginary  histo-  '  *  of  the  whole  British  nation.   .   .  . 

"  rian  describing  the  reign  of  Anne  I,  "  *It  was  under  this  reign,'  he  will 

"  and  introducing  it  with  a  preface  "say,    'that   the   Spectator    pub- 

"  to  his  readers  that  he  is  now  en-  "  'lished   those  little  diurnal   Es- 

"  tering  upon  the  most  shining  pai't  "'says,    which   are   still    extant,' 

"  of  the  English  story.     The  several  "  &c.  &c." — Spectator^  lS.o.\^\. 
"  antagonists  who   now  endeavour  ^  Tatlei;  No.  246. 

"  to  depreciate  one    another,    and  "  Theatre,  No.  26. 

"  are   celebrated    or    traduced    by 


StCele.'\       MACAULAY   ON   STEELE   AND   ADDISON.  161 

claim  to  present  recognition,  lie  describes  him  in  general 
terms  as  one  of  those  people  whom  it  is  impossible  either 
to  hate  or  to  respect.  He  admits  his  temper  to  have  been 
sweet,  his  affections  warm,  and  his  spirits  lively ;  but  says 
that  his  passions  were  so  strong,  and  his  principles  so 
weak,  that  his  life  was  spent  in  sinning  and  repenting,  in 
inculcating  what  was  right  and  doing  what  w^as  wron^> 
Hence,  we  are  told,  though  he  was  a  man  of  piety  and 
honour  in  speculation,  he  was  in  practice  much  of  the 
rake  and  a  little  of  the  swindler ;  but,  then  again,  he  was 
so  good-natured,  that  it^was  not  easy  to  be  seriously 
angry  with  him ;  and^ven  rigid  moralists  felt  more 
inclined  to  pity  than  to  blame  him,  when  he  diced  himself 
into  a  spunging-house,  or  drank  himself  into  a  fever. 
Among  the  rigid  moralists  here  referred  to,  we  must 
presume  was  Mr.  Joseph  Addison,  whose  strict  abstinence 
from  drink  is  so  well  known ;  but  the  Essayist  is  care- 
ful to  add,  that  the  kindness  with  which  that  rigid 
moralist  regarded  his  friend  was  "not  immingled  with 
"  sconij^ 

So  much  the  worse  for  Addison,  if  that  be  true ;  for 
very  certainly  he  succeeded  in  concealing  it  from  his 
friend,  and,  we  imagine  indeed,  from  every  one  but 
Mr.  Macaulay.  True,  no  doubt,  it  is,  that  so  consummate 
a  master  of  humour  could  hardly  have  had  it  always  under 
control ;  and  that  the  most  intimate  of  his  associates 
would  not  be  spared  the  pleasant  laugh  which  was  raised 
in  turn  against  all.  But  Pope,  from  whom  we  derive  the 
fact  that  he  would  now  and  then  "  play  a  little  '^  on  the 
extraordinary  regard  which  Steele  evinced  for  him,  also 
informs  us  how  weU  it  was  always  taken  ;  and,  that  any- 
thing of  contempt '  ever  passed  from  one  to  the  other,  is 
most  assui-edly  not  to  be  inferred  from  any  published 
record.'  The  first  characteristic  thing  which  Pope  noted  in 
Addison,  that  he  was  always  for  moderation  in  parties, 
and  used  to  blame  his  dear  friend  Steele  for  being  too 
much  of  a  party-man,  marks  the  source  of  whatever  dis- 
agreement they  had ;  and  he  who,  on  that  very  ground 
of  party,  lavished  upon  Steele  the  most  unsparing  and 
unscrupulous  abuse,  and  whose  old  intimacy  with  both 
friends  had  opened  to  him  the  secrets  of  their  most 
familiar  hours,  never  thought  of  using  against  him  such 


162  EVIDENCE   OF   JONATHAN   SWIFT.    [tS'/V  Richavd 

a  formidable  weapon  as  lie  would  have  found  in  Addi- 
son/s  contempt// 

■"^' Swift  calls  Steele  a  thoughtless  fellow,  satirises  his 
submission  to  his  wife,  and  says  he  was  never  good 
company  till  he  had  got  a  bottle  of  wine  in  his  head  ;  ^ 
he  twits  him  with  his  debts,  and  flings  a  bailiff  at  him  in 
every  other  paragraph,  through  some  scores  of  page^jf^  he 
avers  that  he  cannot  write  grammar ;  ^  nay,  he  descends 
so  low  (but  this  through  the  fouler  mouth  of  one  of  the 
professional  libellers  of  the  day)  as  even  coarsely  to  laugh 
at  his  short  face,  little  flat  nose,  broad  back,  and  thick 
legs  ; "  and  yet  he  empties  inefiectively  all  those  vials  of 
his  o\vn  scorn,  without  one  allusion  to  that  other  which 
he  knew  would  have  gone,  with  a  deadly  venom,  straight 
to  the  heart  of  his  victim.  '''Before  their  final  rupture,  he 
had  to  answer  Steele's  reproach  that  he  had  spoken  of  him 
as  "  bridled  by  Addison,"  and  he  does  this  with  a  denial 
that  frankly  admits  Steele's  right  to  be  jealous  of  the 
imputatioru^  Throughout  his  intimate  speech  to  Stella, 
whether  fiis  humour  be  sarcastic  or  polite,  the  friend- 
ship of  Steele  and  Addison  is  for  ever  suggesting  some 
annoyance  to  himself,  some  mortification,  some  regret ; 
but  never  once  the  doubt  that  it  was  not  intimate  and 
sincere,  or  that  into  it  entered  anything  inconsistent  with 
a  perfect  equality.  "When  he  wishes  to  serve  the  one, 
and  is  annoyed  that  the  other  receives  the  overture  coldly 
(22  October,  1710) ;  when  he  suspects  the  one  of  prevent- 
ing the  other's  visits  to  Harley  (15th  November,  1710)  ; 
when  he  treats  a  service  to  the  one  as  not  less  a  service 
to  the  other  (14th  January,  1710-11) ;  when  he  reproaches 
the  one  as  ungrateful  for  what  he  had  done  for  the 
other  (15th  January,  1710-11);  when  he  calls  him- 
self a  fool  for  spending  his  credit  in  favour  of  both 
(16th  March,  1710-11) ;  and  when  he  has  promised 
my  Lord  Treasurer  never  again  to  speak  for  either 
(29th  June,  1711) ;  he  shows  you,  still,  that  he  is 
speaking  of  an  intercourse  upheld  by  the  strongest 
attachments,  and  into  which,  whatever  the   respective 

^  Journal  to  Stella,  Oct.  3,  1710.  "*  Letter  from,  Dr.  Tripe  to  Nestor 

2  Importance  of   the  Guardian      Ironside. 

considered.  s  Letter  of  Swift  to  Steele,  May 

3  Fublic  Spirit  of  the  Whigs.  27,  1713. 


Steele*^ 


RELATIONS    OE    ADDISON   AXD    STEELE.  163 


merits  of  the  men,  there  could  have  entered  no  element 
oiJ>'  scorn.'' ^ 

■■^li  is  quite  true,  however,  that  some  coldness  and 
estrangement  did  grow  between  Steele  and  Addison  as 
time  went  oti,  though  to  the  last  it  was  never  so  complete 
as  Mr.  Macaulay  would  wish  to  convey  To  this,  and  its 
causes,  we  shall  have  to  advert  hereafter ;  but  in  con- 
nection with  it  we  have  so  express  and  affecting  a  state- 
ment from  Steele  himself,  only  six  months  after  his 
friend's  death,  and  in  reply  to  a  coarse  assailant  whom  it 
silenced,  that  as  to  the  general  fact  it  leaves  no  doubt 
whatever,  /^here  never,  he  says,  was  a  more  strict 
friendship  than  between  himself  and  Addison,  nor  had 
they  ever  any  difference  but  what  proceeded  from  their 
different  way  of  pursuing  the  same  thing ;  the  one  waited 
and  stemmed  the  torrent,  while  the  other  too  often 
plunged  into  it ;  but,  though  they  thus  had  lived  for  some 
.^years  last  past,  shunning  each  other,  they  still  preserved 
the  most  passionate  concern  for  their  mutual  welfare; 
and  when  they  met,  "  they  were  as  unreserved  as  boys, 
"  and  talked  of  the  greatest  affairs,  upon  which  they  saw 
"  where  they  differed,  without  pressing  (what  they  knew 
"  impossible)  to  convert  each  other."  ^  As  to  the  sub- 
stance or  worth  of  what  thus  divided  them,  Steele  only 
adds  the  significant  expression  of  his  hope  that,  if  his 
family  is  the  worse,  his  country  may  be  the  better,  for 
the  mortification  he  has  undergone^ 

There  is  something  in  that.  When  a  man  is  indiscreet, 
it  is  not  beside  the  matter  to  inquire  what  passion  it  is 
that  urges  him  to  indiscretion.  It  may  be  the  actual 
good  of  others,  or  it  may  be  a  fancied  good  for  himself. 
Mr.  AUworthy  did  so  many  kindnesses  for  so  many  people, 
that  he  made  enemies  of  the  whole  parish ;  and  it  wiU 
perhaps  generally  be  found  that  the  man  who  cares  least 
for  his  neighbours,  is  very  far  from  the  least  likely  to  pass 
for  good-natured  among  them.  It  will  not  do  to  judge 
off-hand,  even  between  the  impetuosity  which  plunges 
into  the  torrent,  and  the  placidity  which  waits  upon  the 
brink.  Each  temperament  has  its  advantages,  within  a 
narrow  or  a  more  extended  range ;  and,  where  the  passion 

1  The  Theatre,  No.  xii,  Feb.  9,   1719-20 

M  2 


164  CONDESCENSIONS  OF  PRAISE.      {_Sir  Richavd 

for  public  affairs  has  been  so  incorrigible  that  it  refused 
to  take  regard  of  its  own  or  others'  convenience  in  its 
manifestations,  we  must  not  too  hastily  resolve  to  take 
part  either  against  the  hostility  it  provokes,  or  with  the 
sympathy  it  repels.  So  much,  before  passing  in  review 
Steele's  actual  character  and  story,  it  will  be  well  to  keep 
in  mind ;  though  there  can  be  no  manner  of  doubt  that 
his  course,  whether  in  other  respects  ill  or  well  taken, 
put  him  at  grave  disadvantage  with  the  world. 

Even  in  regard  to  this,  however,  there  is  no  need  to 
take  any  special  tone  of  pity;  and  too  much  stress  has 
perhaps  been  laid  on  Addison's  own  regrets  in  the  matter. 
It  was  when  the  good  Mr.  Hughes  thought  he  saw  an 
opportunity,  on  the  sudden  cessation  of  Mr.  Steele's 
Guardian,  to  get  Mr.  Addison's  services  for  a  little  scheme 
of  his  own ;  and,  with  many  flourishes  about  the  regret 
with  which  all  the  more  moderate  Whigs  saw  their  com- 
mon friend's  thoughts  turned  entirely  on  politics  and  dis- 
engaged from  pursuits  more  entertaining  and  profitable, 
had  propounded  his  plan  for  a  Register;  that  Mr.  Addison, 
foreseeing  little  glory  in  working  with  Mr.  Hughes,  and 
sending  a  civil  No,  I  thank  you,  I  must  now  rest  and  lay 
in  a  little  fuel,  proceeded,  merely  upon  the  hint  his  corre- 
spondent had  thrown  out,  to  speak  of  Steele  in  language 
often  quoted,  and  used  against  him  by  Mr.  Macaulay. 
"  In  the  meantime  I  should  be  glad  if  you  would  set 
"  such  a  project  on  foot,  for  I  know  nobody  else  capable 
"  of  succeeding  in  it,  and  turning  it  to  the  good  of  man- 
*'  kind,  since  my  friend  has  laid  it  down.  I  am  in  a 
"  thousand  troubles  for  poor  Dick,  and  wish  that  his  zeal 
"  for  the  public  may  not  be  ruinous  to  himself;  but  he 
"  has  sent  me  word  that  he  is  determined  to  go  on,  and 
**  that  any  advice  I  can  give  him  in  this  particular  will 
"  have  no  weight  with  him."  Formerly,  as  now,  these 
expressions  have  been  pointed  to  a  sense  not  exactly 
intended  by  them.  Taken  with  what  induced  them,  and 
read  as  they  were  written,  they  are  certainly  unmingled 
with  scorn. 

There  is  pity  in  them,  to  be  sure ;  and  there  is  what 
Mr.  Macaulay  calls  the  "  trying  with  little  success  to  keep 
"him  out  of  scrapes;"  both  which  must  pass  for  what 
they  are  worth.     There  is  also  the  "  poor  Dick,"  which 


^ 


Steele.~\         way  to  "cry"  a  man  down.  1G5 

has  been  so  lavishly  repeated  since ;  but,  we  must  take  the 
liberty  to  add,  with  a  feeling  and  for  a  purpose  far  less 
worthy.  -^'It  is  our  belief  that  no  man  so  much  as  Steele 
has  suffered  from  compassion.  It  was  out  of  his  own  bitter 
experience  that  he  shrewdly  called  it,  himself,  the  best 
disguise  of  malice,  and  said  that  the  most  apposite  course 
to  cry  a  man  down  was  to  lament  hinj^  Mr.  Macaulay  is 
incapable  of  malice,  even  if  the  motive  for  it  were  in  such 
a  case  conceivable ;  but  whatever  praise  he  gives  to  Steele 
is  always  in  the  way  of  condescension,  and  he  cannot  bring 
himself  to  state  a  virtue  in  him  which  he  does  not  at  the 
same  time  extenuate  with  its  equal  vice  or  drawback. 
We  much  fear  there  are  few  characters  that  would 
stand  this  kind  of  analysis,  —  very  few  in  which  the 
levelling  circumstance  might  not  be  detected,  that  more 
or  less  brings  down  the  high,  the  wise,  the  strong, 
and  the  fortunate,  to  the  lower  level  with  their  fellow- 
men. 

An  ill  mending  of  the  matter  it  would  be,  indeed,  to 
extenuate  vice  itself  as  a  set-off  to  the  extenuation  of 
virtue ;  but  both  have  need  of  a  more  considerate  reflec- 
tion than  they  are  generally  apt  to  receive,  in  connection 
with  such  a  life  as  we  shaU  shortly  retrace.  For  not  a 
few  years  of  that  life,  we  dare  say.  Captain  Steele  might 
have  pleaded,  with  Captain  Plume,  that  for  all  his  exube- 
rance of  spirits  he  was  yet  very  far  from  the  rake  the 
world  imagined.  "  I  have  got  an  air  of  freedom,"  says 
Farquhar's   pleasant  hero,    "  which  people  mistake  in 

^  The  sketch  in  which  this  occurs  *  *  ceremony  or  taking  leave,    runs 

(No.  4)  is  of  a  class  of  men  who  *'  to  the  side  on  which  they  appear, 

(making    allowance  for  special  dif-  "  Hence   it  is,  that  he  passes  all 

ferences  in  themselves)   would  not  "  his   days   under    reproach    from 

be  ill  represented   by  De  Foe  and  *' some  persons  or  other  ;  and  he  is, 

"^teele.     It  is  very  difficult,  he  says,  *' at  different  times,   called  a  rene- 

with  an  obvious  tone  of  self-reference,  ' '  gade,  a  confessor,  and  a  martyr, 

to  put  them  down.     It  is  thought  "  by   every  party.     This   happens 

enough   to   shrug    your   shoulders,  "  from   his   sticking  to  principles, 

take   snuff,   and  say  something  in  ' '  and  having  no  respect  to  persons  ; 

pity  of  them.     But  yet  the  man  you  "and  it   is  his  inward  constancy 

so  lament,  is,  after  all,  too  hardy  a  * '  that  makes  him  vary  in  outward 

creature  to  be  so  discountenanced  and  "appearance.     It  is  therefore  un- 

undone.      "He   is   never  mortified  "  lucky  for  those  who  speak  of  this 

' '  but  when  truth,  honour,  and  rea-  * '  kind  of  character  with  ridicule, 

"  son  are  against  him  ;  which,  as  "  that  all  the  great  who  ever  lived 

"  soon  as  he  perceives,  he,  without  "  were  such." 


1G6         VIRTUES  AND  VICES  IN  DISGUISE.  [^Sir  Richavd 

"  me,  just  as  in  others  they  mistake  formality  for  religion." 
It  is  a  kind  of  mistake  committed  in  many  forms  ;  and 
Pope  was  hinting  at  it  when  he  remarked,  that  whereas, 
according  to  La  Rochefoucauld,  a  great  many  virtues  are 
disguised  ^dces,  he  would  engage,  by  the  same  mode  of 
reasoning,  to  prove  a  great  many  vices  to  be  disguised 
virtues.  Take  the  love  of  ourselves  for  example,  and  say 
that  in  it  lies  the  motive  of  most  of  our  actions,  good  or 
bad  ;  yet  it  by  no  means  would  follow  that  the  number 
are  not  much  greater  wherein  the  self-love  of  some  men 
incline  them  to  please  others,  than  where  the  self-love  of 
others  is  employed  wholly  in  pleasing  themselves.  Steele 
had  said  the  same  thing  several  years  before  in  his 
Christian  Hero,  when  he  remarked  that  there  can  really 
be  no  greater  love  of  self  than  to  love  others,  nor  any 
more  secure  way  to  obtain  good  offices  than  to  do 
them. 

Not  that  any  such  modes  of  reasoning  may  sufficiently 
excuse  a  life  spent,  if  what  Mr.  Macaulay  tells  us  be  true, 
in  sinning  and  repenting,  in  inculcating  what  was  right 
and  doing  what  was  wrong.  A  profitless  life  to  himself, 
beyond  a  doubt,  if  such  indeed  was  Steele's  ;  but  sugges- 
tive also  of  the  remark,  that,  since  the  wrong  that  was 
done  has  passed  away,  and  the  right  that  was  inculcated 
remains,  others  decidedly  may  have  profited  though  he 
did  not.  For  ourselves,  holding  with  the  philosophy 
which  teaches  us  that  depravity  of  disposition  is  less 
pardonable  than  any  kind  of  frailty  of  passion,  we  know 
of  no  ofPence  against  virtue  so  grave  as  to  speak  of  it  in 
disparagement ;  and  no  worse  practice  in  regard  to  vice 
than  the  systematic  praise  and  recommendation  of  it. 
"With  the  latter,  at  least,  no  one  has  ever  been  so  reckless, 
in  our  daj*  or  even  in  his  own,  as  to  charge  Richard 
Steele.  //jIq  had  a  real  love  and  reverence  for  virtue. 
Pope  told  Spence.  He  had  the  best  nature  in  the  world, 
and  was  a  man  of  almost  boundless  benevolence,  said 
Young.  Lady  Mary  Montagu  lived  much  with  all  the 
wits,  and  knew  no  one  with  the  kind  nature  of  Steele.  It 
is  his  admitted  weakness  to  have  yielded  to  the  temptation 
which  yet  he  never  lost  the  strength  to  condemn  ;  but  we 
should  remember  who  has  said  that,  if  at  all  times  to  do 
were  as  easy  as  to  know  what  were  good  to  do,  chapels  had 


Steele."]  each  man  to  be  judged  by  himself.        167 

been  churclies  and  poor  men's  cottages  princes'  palaces^^ 
Let  us  add  that  even  Addison  himself  could  not  always  do 
both  ;  and  that,  if  the  strict  rule  were  applied  universally, 
never  to  accept  unreservedly  what  is  good  in  a  man,  and 
praise  it  accordingly,  without  minute  measimng-off  of  what 
may  also  be  condemned  for  evil,  with  detraction  at  least 
equal  to  the  praise,  there  would  be  altogether  an  end  at 
last  to  all  just  judgments,  and  a  w^oeful  general  confusion 
of  right  and  wrong.  Jh^  Addison  had  not  Steele's  de- 
fects ;  that  Steele's  defects,  graver  though  they  may  have 
been,  were  yet  not  those  of  Addison ;  should  surely  be  far 
from  matter  of  complaining  with  us,  since  in  no  small 
degree  it  has  served  to  contribute  to  the  more  complete 
instruction  and  entertainment  of  the  w^orld.  There  is  a 
wise  little  paper  in  which  Steele  has  pursued  so  closely  an 
argument  resembling  this,  that  we  may  adapt  it  to  our 
present  use.  We  may  stigmatise  it  as  not  less  a  want  of 
sense  than  of  good  nature,  to  say  that  Addison  has  less 
exuberant  spirits  than  Steele,  but  Steele  not  such  steady 
self-control  as  Addison  ;  for,  that  such  men  have  not  each 
other's  capacities  is  no  more  a  diminution  to  either,  than 
if  you  shouM  say  Addison  is  not  Steele,  or  Steele  not 
Addison,  -^he,  heathen  world,  as  Mr.  Bickerstaff  reasons 
the  matter,  had  so  little  notion  that  perfection  was  to  be 
expected  from  men,  that  among  them  any  one  quality  or 
endowment  in  a  heroic  degree  made  a  god.  Hercules  had 
strength,  but  it  was  never  objected  to  him  that  he  wanted 
wit.  Apollo  presided  over  wit,  and  it  was  never  asked 
whether  he  had  strength.  Those  wise  heathens  were  glad 
to  immortalise  any  one  serviceable  gift,  and  to  overlook  all 
imperfections  in  the  person  who  had  it.  But  with  us  it 
is  far  otherwise.  We  are  only  too  eager  to  reject  many 
manifest  virtues,  if  we  find  them  accompanied  with  a  single 
apparent  weakness.,^ ^'' 

Nor  does  the  shrewd  Mr.  Bickerstaff  end  the  argument 
here.  He  discovers  in  it  the  secret  why  principally  it  is 
that  the  worst  of  mankind,  the  hbellers,  receive  so  much 
encouragement.  "  The  low  race  of  men  take  a  great 
"  pleasure  in  finding  an  eminent  character  levelled  to 
"  their  condition  by  a  report  of  its  defects,  and  they  keep 
"  themselves  in  countenance,  though  they  are  excelled  in  a 

1  The  Merchant  of  Venice. 


168    THE  WORLD  AND  ITS  BENEFACTORS.  \_Sir  Richard 

"  thousand  virtues,  if  they  believe  they  have  in  common 
"  with  a  great  person  any  one  fault."  It  would  not  be 
easy  to  express  more  perfectly,  than  in  these  few  words, 
the  danger  of  those  extremes  of  depreciation  to  which 
Steele  more  than  any  man  has  been  subjected.  It  is  our 
firm  behef  that,  whatever  his  improvidence  may  have 
been,  he  was  incapable  of  a  dishonourable  action.  It 
will  not  be  difficult  to  show,  in  the  brief  sketch  we  shall 
presently  give  of  his  career,  how  little  avoidable  in  his 
circumstances  were  not  a  few  of  his  embarrassments  and 
troubles.  We  wish  it  were  possible  to  doubt  that  the 
life  to  which  only  he  was  warranted  in  applying  the  modest 
expression  that  it  was  "  at  best  but  pardonable,"  was 
not  better  than  ninety-nine  hundredths  of  theirs  whp 
would  be  apt  to  pass  the  harshest  judgments  upon  it.  ,^  It 
was  at  least  the  life  of  a  disinterested  poKtician  and 
patriot,  of  a  tender  husband,  of  an  attached  father,  of  a 
scholar,  a  wit,  a  man  of  genius,  a  gentleman.  But  the 
wit  and  the  genius  brought  with  them  their  usual  penal- 
ties ;  and  the  world,  not  content  that  their  exercise  should 
have  enlarged  the  circle  of  its  enjoyments,  and  added 
enormously  to  human  happiness  in  various  ways,  must 
satisfy  its  vulgar  eagerness  to  find  feet  of  clay  for  its 
image  of  gold,  and  give  censorious  fools  the  comfort  of 
speaking  as  ill  as  may  be  of  their  benefactor^^ 

And  so  thp  inquisition,  far  worse  than  "forquemada's, 
is  opened.  'A^ircumstances  of  life  the  most  minute,  nor 
any  longer  intelligible  without  the  context  that  has 
perished,  are  dragged  into  monstrous  prominence.  Re- 
lations the  most  intimate  are  rudely  exposed.  Letters 
are  printed  without  concealment,  though  written  in  the 
confidence  of  a  privacy  so  sacred  that  to  break  it  in  the 
case  of  ordinary  men  would  be  to  overturn  society  alto- 
gether. And  if  the  result  should  finally  show  that  the 
man  who  has  taught  us  all  so  well  what  our  own  conduct 
ought  to  be,  had  unhappily  failed  in  such  wisdom  for  the 
guidance  of  his  own,  the  general  complacence  and  satis- 
faction are  complete.  Silly  world  !  as  even  Swift  can  find 
it  in  his  heart  to  say  ;  not  to  understand  how  much  better 
occupied  it  would  be  in  finding  out  that  men  of  wit  may  , 
be  the  most,  rather  than  the  least,  moral  of  mankin^^ 
Unlucky  man  of  wit !  who,  in  the  teeth  of  his  own  earnest 


Steele.'\ 


APPOINTMENT  OF  GAZETTEER.  169 


warning,  that  only  lie  who  lives  below  his  income  lays 
up  efficient  armour  against  those  who  will  cover  all  his 
frailties  when  he  is  so  fortified,  and  exaggerate  them  when 
he  is  naked  and  defoDceless,^  goes  incontinently  and  lives 
above  his  own  income,  and  gets  himself  rated  as  "  a 
"  swindler." 

Nor  does  Mr.  Macaulay's  disparagement  of  Steele  take 
only  the  form  of  such  harsh  and  quite  unwarrantable 
expressions.  It  extends  from  his  moral  to  his  intellectual 
character;  and  we  are  not  permitted  to  believe  that  a 
man  could  write  excellent  Tatlers,  who  was  not  able  to 
pay  his  tavern-bills  with  unvarying  punctuality. 

In  forming  his  most  celebrated  literary  project,  we  are 
told,  Steele  was  far  indeed  from  seeing  its  consequences. 
It  had  originated  in  his  access  to  early  and  authentic 
foreign  news,  opened  by  that  appointment  of  Gazetteer, 
which,  says  Mr.  Macaulay,  he  had  received  "  from  Sun- 
"  derland,  at  the  request,  it  is  said,  of  Addison."  This  is 
another  of  the  many  attempts  which  we  grieve  to  see  in 
his  Essay,  to  exhibit  Steele  as  wholly  dependent  on  Addi- 
son for  his  position  with  public  men ;  but  it  is  certainly 
incorrect.  Swift  expressly  tells  us,  on  the  information  of 
Under-Secretary  Erasmus  Lewis,  that  it  was  Harley  from 
whom  he  received  his  appointment,  and  at  the  request  of 
Maynwaring.  Indeed,  Steele  has  himself  left  us  in  no 
doubt  as  to  this  ;  for,  when  he  was  reproached  for  attack- 
ing the  man  to  whom  his  thanks  for  it  were  due,  he  ex- 
cused himself  by  saying  that  Harley,  the  person  referred 
to,  had  refused  at  the  time  to  accept  such  thanks,  and  had 
transferred  them  wholly  to  Maynwaring  :  that  very 
leader  among  the  Whigs  who  is  now  known  himself  to 
have  written  the  attack  comj)lained  of.^ 

1  The  Tatler,  No.  180.  "  pounds.     This  was  devilish  un- 

2  See  the  Tatler,  No.  193.  The  "  grateful."  *'When,"  he  says,  in 
fictitious  letter  of  prompter  Downes  tlie  Importance  of  the  Guardian 
was  certainly  by  Maynwaring,  I  considered  (Works,  ed.  Scott,  iv. 
quote  Swift:  "Steele  has  lost  his  192-3),  **Mr.  Maynwaring  recom- 
"  place  as  Gazetteer,"  he  writes  to  *'  mended  him  to  the  employment  of 
Stella  {Journal,  Oct.  22,  1710),  "  Gazetteer,  Mr.  Harley,  out  of  an 
' '  three  hundred  pounds  a-year,  for  ' '  inclination  to  encourage  men  of 
'*  writing  a  Tatler  some  months  ago  "  parts,  raised  that  office  from  fifty 
*'  against  Mr,  Harley,  who  gave  it  "  pounds  to  three  hundred  pounds 
**  him  at  first,  and  raised  the  salary  "  a-year." 

*'  from    sixty    to   three    hundred 


170  FIEST   DESIGN   OF   THE    TATLER.    \_Sir  Rlchavd 

Mr.  Macaulay  proceeds  to  give  us  his  own  description 
of  the  aim  and  design  of  the  Tatler.  Suggested  by  Steele's 
experience  as  Gazetteer,  it  was  to  be  on  a  plan  quite  new, 
and  to  appear  on  the  days  when  the  post  left  London 
for  the  country,  which  were,  in  that  generation,  the  Tues- 
days, Thursdays,  and  Saturdays.  Mr.  Macaulay  thinks 
it  immaterial  to  mention  that  De  Foe's  Review,  with  not  a 
few  points  of  resemblance,  had  already  for  five  years 
travelled  by  the  country  posts  on  those  days ;  but  indeed 
the  resemblance  could  hardly  be  expected  to  suggest 
itself,  with  such  a  low  opinion  of  Steele's  jpiirpose  in 
tbe  Tatler  as  he  seems  to  have  formed. '/''It  was  to 
contain,  he  says,  the  foreign  news,  accounts  of  thea- 
trical representations,  and  the  literary  gossip  of  Will's 
and  of  the  Grecian.  It  was  also  to  contain  remarks 
on  the  fashionable  topics  of  the  day,  compliments 
to  beauties,  pasquinades  on  noted  sharpers,  and  criti- 
cisms on  popular  preachers.  "  The  aim  of  Steele  does 
"  not  appear  to  have  been  at  first  higher  than  this." 
Mr.  Macaulay's  manifest  object  is  to  convey  the  im- 
pression that  the  Tatler  hdidi  no  real  worth  until  Addison 
joined  it../ 

Now  the  facts  are,  that,  with  the  exception  of  very  rare 
occasional  hints  embodied  in  papers  indubitably  by  Steele, 
and  of  the  greater  part  of  one  essay  which  appeared  in 
May,  and  of  another  published  in  July,  Addison's  contri- 
bittions  to  the  Tatler  did  not  begin  until  his  return  from 
Ireland  in  the  middle  of  October,  1709,  when  eighty  num- 
bers had  been  issued.  If,  therefore,  what  Mr.  Macaulay 
would  convey  be  correct,  Steele's  narrow  and  limited 
design  must  have  lasted  at  least  so  long ;  and  that  which 
gives  the  moral  not  less  than  the  intellectual  charm  to 
these  famous  Essays,  which  turned  their  humour  into  a 
censorship  of  manners  at  once  gentle  and  effective,  and 
made  their  wit  subservient  to  wisdom  and  piety,  could 
not  have  become  apparent  until  after  the  middle  of  the 
second  volume.  Up  to  that  time,  according  to  Mr. 
Macaulay,  Steele  must  have  been  merely  compiling  news, 
reviewing  theatres,  retailing  literary  gossip,  remarking  on 
fashionable  topics,  complimenting  beauties,  pasquinading 
sharpers,  or  criticising  preachers  ;  and  could  not  yet  have 
entered  the  higher  field  which  the  genius  of  Addison  was 


Steele.'\      opening  numbers  of  the  tatleu.  171 

to  open  to  him.  Nevertheless  this  is  certain,  that,  in 
dedicating  the  first  vohame  of  the  work  to  Maynwaring, 
he  describes  in  language  that  admits  of  no  miscon- 
struction, not  only  his  own  intention  in  setting  it  on  foot, 
hut  what  he  calls  the  "  sudden  acceptance, '^  the  extra- 
ordinary success,  which  immediately  followed  ;  and  which 
attracted  to  its  subscription  almost  every  name  "now 
"  eminent  among^us  for  power,  wit,  beauty,  valour,  or 
"  wisdom."  //iSswfeR  being,  he  says,  to  observe  upon 
the  manner^,'  both  in  the  pleasurable  and  the  busy  part 
of  mankind,  with  a  view  to  an  exposure  of  the  false  arts 
of  life,  he  resolved  to  do  this  by  way  of  a  letter  of  intel- 
ligence constructed  on  so  novel  a  plan,  that  it  should 
appeal  to  the  curiosity  of  all  persons,  of  all  conditions 
and  of  each  sex  ;  and  at  once  he  proceeds  to  explain  the 
character  of  his  design  as  precisely  that  attempt  *'  to  pull 
"  ofi"  the  disguises  of  cunning,  vanity,  and  affectation,  and 
"  to  recommend  a  general  simplicity  in  our  dress,  our 
"  discourse,  and  our  behaviour,"  which  was  remarked  by 
Johnson,  three-quarters  of  a  century  afterwards,  as  its 
most  happy  distinguishing  feature.  It  was  this  that  the 
old  critic  and  philosopher  singled  out  as  the  very  drift  of 
all  its  labour  in  teaching  us  the  minuter  decencies  and 
inferior  duties,  in  regulating  the  practice  of  our  daily 
conversation,  in  correcting  depravities  rather  ridiculous 
than  criminal,  and  in  removing,  if  not  the  lasting 
calamities  of  life,  those  grievances  which  are  its  hourly 
vexation.  /  / 

But  the  papers  themselves  are  before  us,  if  we  want 
evidence  more  conclusive.  Here  is  the  first  number  with 
its  motto  superscribed,  claiming  for  its  comprehensive 
theme  the  qtiicquid  a gtmt  homines ;  and  here,  among  the 
very  first  words  that  give  us  hearty  greeting — "  and  for  as 
"  much  as  this  globe  is  not  trodden  upon  by  mere  drudges 
"  of  business  only,  but  that  men  of  spirit  and  genius  are 
"  justly  to  be  esteemed  as  considerable  agents  in  it  " — the 
lively  note  seems  struck  for  every  pleasant  strain  that 
followed.  Where  are  the  commonplaces  described  by  Mr. 
Macaulay  ?  How  shall  we  limit  our  selection  of  examples, 
in  disproof  of  the  alleged  restriction  to  compiling  gossip- 
ing, complimenting,  pasquinading  ?  Why,  as  v/e  turn  over 
the  papers  preceding  that  number  81  which  must  be  said 


173  CRITICISM   ON   THE    STAGE.       [S/>  Richavd 

to  have  begun  tlie  regular  contributions  of  Addison,  there 
is  hardly  a  trait  that  fails  to  flash  upon  us  the  bright 
wit,  the  cordial  humour,  the  sly  satire,  the  subtle  yet 
kindly  criticism,  the  good-nature  and  humanity,  which 
have  endeared  this  delightful  book  to  successive  genera- 
tions of  readers.  There  is,  indeed,  not  less  prominent  at 
the  outset  than  it  continued  to  the  close,  the  love  of 
theatrical  representations,  and  no  doubt  actors  are  criti- 
cised and  preachers  too  ;  but  we  require  no  better  proof 
than  the  very  way  in  which  this  is  done,  of  the  new  and 
original  spirit  that  entered  with  it  into  periodical  literature. 
In  both  the  critic  finds  means  of  detecting  countless  afi'ec- 
tations ;  and  no  one  acquainted  with  the  Pulpit  of  that 
day,  need  feel  surprise  at  the  hints  he  gives  of  the  service 
the  Stage  might  render  it,  or  that  Mr.  Betterton  should 
have  borrowed  from  Mr.  Bickerstaff  the  answer  to  San- 
croft's  question — Why  it  was  that  actors,  speaking  of 
things  imaginary,  afiected  audiences  as  if  they  were  real ; 
while  preachers,  speaking  of  things  real,  could  only  affect 
their  congregations  as  with  things  imaginary  ?  '*  Why 
"  indeed  I  don't  know  ;  unless  it  is  that  we  actors  speak  of 
"  things  imaginary  as  if  they  were  real,  while  you  in 
"  the  pulpit  speak  of  things  real  as  if  they  were  imagi- 
"  nary."  An  admirable  paper,  to  the  same  effect,  among 
the  early  Tatlers,  is  that  wherein  he  tells  us,  that  in  tragi- 
cal representations  of  the  highest  kind  it  is  not  the  pomp 
of  language,  or  the  magnificence  of  dress,  in  which  the 
passion  is  wrought  that  touches  sensible  spirits,  "but 
"  something  of  a  plain  and  simple  nature  which  breaks  in 
"  upon  our  souls  by  that  sympathy  which  is  given  us  for 
"  our  mutual  good  will  and  service."  ^  And  he  illustrates 
his  position  by  the  example  of  Macduff  when  he  hears  of 
the  murder  of  his  children,  and  of  Brutus  when  he 
speaks  of  the  death  of  Portia. 

There  is  no  criticism  of  Shakespeare,  in  that  day,  at  all 
comparable  to  this  of  Steele's,  at  the  outset  and  to  the  close 
of  the  Tatler.  With  no  set  analysis  or  fine-spun  theory, 
but  dropped  only  here  and  there,  and  from  time  to  time, 
with  a  careless  grace,  it  is  yet  of  the  subtlest  discrimi- 
nation.    He  places  the  great  dramatist  as  high  in  phi- 

1  Tatler,  No.  68. 


Steele.'\        admiration  of  shakespeare.  173 

losophy  as  in  poetry,  and  in  the  ethics  of  human  life  and 
passion  quotes  ever  his  authority  as  supreme.  None  hut 
Steele  then  thought. of  criticising  him  in  that  strain.  The 
examples  just  quoted,  for  instance,  are  used  as  lessons  in 
art,  but  also  as  experiences  for_patience  under  actual  sor- 
row ;  and  he  finely  adds,  that  it  is  in  life  itsel? exactly  as  at 
one  of  his  plays,  where  we  see  the  man  overwhelmed  by 
grief  yet  struggling  to  bear  it  with  decency  and  patience, 
we  "sigh  for  him,  and  give  him  every  groan  he  sup- 
"  presses."  In  another  Tatler  (No.  47)  he  separates  the 
author  of  Othello  from  the  ordinary  tragic  poets,  from  the 
gentlemen,  as  he  calls  them,  "  who  write  in  the  buskin 
"  style  "  (and  they  were  legion  then,  beginning  with  his 
friend  Mr.  Rowe,  and  ending,  though  he  refused  to  see 
that,  with  his  friend  Mr.  Addison),  by  the  excellent 
distinction,  that  it  always  seems  as  if  Shakespeare  were 
suffering  the  events  represented,  while  the  rest  were 
merely  looking  on.  In  short,  he  says,  there  is  no  medium 
in  these  attempts,  and  you  must  go  to  the  very  bottom 
of  the  heart,  or  it  is  all  mere  language.  His  advice  to 
his  tragic  friends  therefore  is,  that  they  should  read 
Shakespeare  wdth  care,  and  they  will  soon  be  deterred 
from  putting  forth  what  they  persuade  themselves  to  call 
tragedy.  They  are  to  read  him,  and  to  understand  the 
distinction  between  pretending  to  be  a  thing,  and  being 
the  thing  they  pretend.  They  are  to  read  particularly, 
and  mark  the  differences  between  the  two — the  speech, 
which  old  Northumberland  addresses  to  the  Messenger 
before,  and  that  which  he  utters  after,  he  knows  of  the 
death  of  Hotspur,  his  son;  the  last,  one  of  the  noblest 
passages  in  the  whole  of  Shakespeare.^  And  he  warns 
them  that  "  he  who  pretends  to  be  sorrowful  and  is  not, 
"  is  a  wretch  yet  more  contemptible  than  he  who  pretends 
"  to  be  merry  and  is  not." 

In  this  mode  of  eliciting,  not  merely  canons  of  taste, 
but  moral  truths  and  rules  of  conduct,  from  the  plays 
he  sees  acted,  or  the  books  he  has  been  reading,  Steele 

^  Colley  Gibber  soon  afterwards  Richard  III.      But  wliat  an  asto- 

did  "what    he    could    to   vulgarise  nishing  grandeur  of  passion  there 

that   speech   of    Northumberland's  is  in  it ! — 

by  wrenching  it  out  of  its  place  u  ^ow  bind  my  brows  with  iron- 
to  fit  it  into  his  stage  translation  of  ^^^  approach 


174  APPRECIATION  OF  MILTON.    \_Sir  Richdrd 

enriched  his  earliest  and  his  latest  Tatlers  with  a  style  of 
criticism  which  he  must  be  said  to  have  created.  Nor  is 
he  satisfied  with  less  than  the  highest  models;  delighting 
not  more  to  place  the  philosophy  above  the  poetry  of 
Shakespeare,  than  to  discover  the  sweetness  and  grace 
which  underlie  the  majesty  of  Milton.  The  sixth  Tatler 
begins  the  expression  of  his  reverence  for  the  latter  poet ; 
and  not  until  the  last  line  of  the  last  Tatler,  on  which 
Shakespeare's  name  is  imprinted,  does  it  cease  in  regard 
to  either.  It  was  he,  and  not  his  friend,  who,  in  that  age  of 
little  faith,  first  raised  again  the  poet  of  Paradise;  his  allu- 
sions to  him,  from  the  very  commencement,  are  incessant ; 
and  a  Tatler  of  but  a  few  days  earlier  than  that  just 
quoted,  contains  not  only  the  noble  lines  in  which  Adam 
contemplates  the  sleeping  Eve,  but,  by  way  of  comment 
on  its  picture  of  manly  affection  made  up  of  respect  and 
tenderness,  throws  out  this  delightful  remark.  *'  This  is 
"  that  sort  of  passion  which  truly  deserves  the  name  of 
"  love,  and  has  something  more  generous  than  friendship 
"  itself;  for  it  has  a  constant  care  of  the  object  beloved, 
"  abstracted  from  its  own  interests  in  the  possession 
«ofit.'\ 

t^^a  time  in  no  wav; remarkable  for  refinement,  Steele's 
gallantry  to  women/ihus  incessantly  expressed  in  the 
Tatler  to  the  last,  w^s  that  of  a  Sir  Tristan  or  Sir  Cali- 
dore ;  and,  in  not  a  small  degree,  to  every  household  into 
which  it  carried  such  unaccustomed  language,  this  was  a 
ground  of  its  extraordinary  success.  Inseparable  always 
from  his  passion  is  the  exalted  admiration  he  feels ;  and 
his  love  is  the  very  flower  of  his  respect^^jxDelightfuUy 
does  he  say  of  a  woman  in  the  206th  Tatldr,  that  the  love 
of  her  is  not  to  be  put  apart  from  some  esteem  of  her ; 

"  The  rugged'st  hour  that  time  and  "  But  let  one  spirit  of  the  first-born 

spite  dare  bring  Cain 

**  To  frown  upon  the  enrag'd  North-  "  Reign  in  all  bosoms  ;  that,  each 

umberland.  heart  being  set 

"  Let  heav'n  kiss  earth  !     Now  let  "  On  bloody  courses,  the  rude  scene 

not  Nature  s  liand  may  end, 

**  Keep  this  wild  flood  confin'd  !  let  "  And  Darkness  be  the  burier  of  the 

Order  die  !  dead  ! " 

"  And  let  this  world  no  longer  be  a 

stage,  In  the  whole  of  poetry,  ancient  and 

"  To  feed  contention  in  a  lingering  modern,  there  is  no  image  greater 

act ;  than  that. 


Steele.'\         on  the  education  of  women.  175 

and,  as  slie  is  naturally  the  object  of  affection,  site  who 
has  your  esteem  has  also  some  degree  of  your  love.  ::'^ut 
as,  unhappily,  a  woman's  education  was  then  sunk  to  the 
lowest  ebb,  there  is  also  no  subject  to  which  he  has  occa- 
sion so  often  and  so  eagerly  to  return,  as  a  comparison  of 
the  large  amount  of  care  bestowed  on  her  person  with  the 
little  given  to  her  mind.  You  deliver  your  daughter  to  a 
dancing-master,  he  says  in  one  of  these  papers,  you  put 
a  collar  round  her  neck,  you  teaoh  her  every  movement 
under  pain  of  never  having  a  husband  if  she  steps,  or 
looks,  or  moves  awry ;  and  all  the  time  you  forget  the  true 
art,  which  "  is  to  make  mind  and  body  improve  together, 
"  to  make  gesture  follow  thought,  and  not  let  thought  be 
"  employed  upon  gesture," "  As  he  says,  in  another  paper 
to  the  like  effect,  a  woman  must  think  well  to  look  well.^ 
He  is  never  weary  of  surrounding  her  form  with  hosts  of 
graces  and  deHghts ;  in  her  mind,  how  unused  and  uncul- 
tivated soever,  he  yet  recognises  always  a  finer  and  more 
deHcate  humanity;  and,  of  all  the  subtle  and  eloquent 
things  ever  uttered  in  her  praise  by  poet  or  romancer, 
none  have  surpassed  that  fascinating  eulogy  of  Lady 
Elizabeth  Hastings  which  is  contained  in  the  49th  Tatler. 
"  That  awful  distance  which  we  bear  toward  her  in  all 
"  our  thoughts  of  her,  and  that  cheerful  familiarity  with 
"  which  we  approach  her,  are  certain  instances  of  her 
"  being  the  truest  object  of  love  of  any  of  her  sex.  In 
"  this  accomplished  lady,  love  is  the  constant  effect, 
"  because  it  is  never  the  design.  Yet,  though  her  mien 
^'  carries  much  more  invitation  than  command,  to  behold 
"  her  is  an  immediate  check  to  loose  behaviour,  and  to 
"  love  her  is  a  liberal  education.'* 

As  we  have  turned  to  this  charming  passage,  we  meet 
another  of  his  illustrations  from  Shakespeare,  in  which, 
rebuking  the  author  of  a  new  tragedy  for  relying  too  much 
on  the  retinue,  guards,  ushers,  and  courtiers  of  his  hero 
to  make  him  magnificent,  "  Shakespeare,"  he  exclaims, 
"  is  our  pattern.  In  the  tragedy  of  Caesar  he  introduces 
"  his  hero  in  his  night-gown."  The  resemblance  of 
Addison's  42nd  Spectator  to  this  53rd  Tatler  need  not  be 
pointed  out ;  and  we  shall  be  excused  for  saying,  with  all 

1  No.  212  ;  and  see  No.  248. 


176  CHARACTERS   IN   EARLY   TATLERS.    \_Sir  Richavd 

our  love  and  respect  for  Addison,  that  he  might  with  good 
effect  have  taken,  now  and  then,  even  a  hint  of  conduct, 
as  well  as  one  of  criticism,  from  his  friend.  As  to  modes 
of  dying,  for  example.  The  11th  Tatler,  with  a  truth 
and  spirit  not  to  be  surpassed,  remarks  that  any  doctrine 
on  the  subject  of  dying,  other  than  that  of  living  well,  is 
the  most  insignificant  and  most  empty  of  all  the  labours 
of  men.  A  tragedian  can  die  by  rule,  and  wait  till  he 
discovers  a  plot,  or  says  a  fine  thing  upon  his  exit ;  but 
in  real  life,  and  by  noble  spirits,  it  will  be  done  decently, 
without  the  ostentation  of  it.  Commend  me,  exclaims 
Steele,  to  that  natural  greatness  of  soul  expressed  by  an 
innocent  and  consequently  resolute  country  fellow,  who 
said,  in  the  pains  of  the  cholic,  "  If  I  once  get  this  breath 
"  out  of  my  body,  you  shall  hang  me  before  you  put  it  in 
*'  again."     Honest  Ned  !     And  so  he  died. 

And  what  hints  of  other  characters,  taken  from  the 
same  portion  of  the  Tatler,  need  we,  or  shall  we,  add  to 
honest  Ned's,  in  proof  that  Steele  did  not  wait  for  Addi- 
son's help  before  stamping  his  design  with  the  most 
marked  feature  that  remained  with  it  ?  The  difficulty  is 
selection.  Shall  we  take  the  wealthy  wags  who  give  one 
another  credit  in  discourse  according  to  their  purses,  who 
jest  by  the  pound,  and  make  answers  as  they  honour  bills ; 
and  who,  with  unmoved  muscles  for  the  most  exquisite 
wit  whose  banker's  balance  they  are  not  acquainted  with, 
smirk  at  every  word  each  speaks  to  the  other  ?^  Shall 
we  take  the  modest  young  bachelor  of  arts,  who,  thinking 
himself  fit  for  anything  he  can  get,  is  above  nothing  that 
is  offered,  and,  having  come  to  town  recommended  to  a 
chaplain's  place  but  finding  none  vacant,  modestly  accepts 
that  of  a  postilion? 2  Shall  we  introduce  the  eminent 
storyteller  and  politician,  who  owes  the  regularity  and 
fluency  of  his  dullness  entirely  to  his  snuff-box  ?  ^  Shall 
we  make  acquaintance  with  the  whimsical  young  gentle- 
man, so  ambitious  to  be  thought  worse  than  he  is,  that, 
in  his  degree  of  understanding,  he  sets  up  for  a  free- 
thinker, and  talks  atheistically  in  coffee-houses  all  day, 
though  every  morning  and  evening,  it  can  be  proved  upon 
him,  he  regularly  at  home  says  his  prayers  ?  "^     Shall  the 

1  Tatler,  No.  57.  ^  Tatlei-,  No.  35. 

8  Tatler,  No.  52.  -»  Tatler,  No.  77. 


Steele.'] 


FIRST   SPRIGHTLY    RUNNINGS   OF    WIT.  177 


well-meaning  Umbra  take  us  by  the  button,  and  talk  half 
an  hour  to  us  upon  matters  wholly  insignificant  with 
an  air  of  the  utmost  solemnity,  that  we  may  teach  our- 
selves the  charity  of  not  being  offended  with  what  has  a 
good  intention  in  it,  by  remembering  that  to  little  men. 
little  things  are  of  weight,  and  that,  though  our  courteous, 
friend  never  served  us,  he  is  ever  willing  to  do  it,  and 
believes  he  really  does  do  it  ?  ^  Or,  while  Mr.  Bickerstafl^ 
thus  teaches  us  that  impotent  kindness  is  to  be  tolerated,, 
shall  Mrs.  Jenny  Distaff  show  us  that  impotent  malice  is 
not ;  and  that  society  should  scout  the  fool  who  cannot 
listen  to  praise  without  whispering  detraction,  or  hear  a 
man  of  worth  named  without  recounting  the  worst 
passage  of  his  life.^ 

Shall  we  follow  into  Garraway's  or  the  Stock  Exchange 
those  two  men,  in  whom  so  striking  a  contrast  appears  of 
plain  simplicity  with  imposing  affectation,  and  learn  that 
the  sort  of  credit  which  commerce  affects  is  worthless,  if  but 
sustained  by  the  opinions  of  others  and  not  by  its  own 
consciousness  of  value  ?  ^  Shall  we  let  the  smallest  of 
pedants,  Will  Dactyle,  convince  us  that  learning  does  but 
improve  in  us  what  nature  endowed  us  with ;  for  that,  not 
to  have  good  sense  with  learning  is  only  to  have  more 
ways  of  exposing  oneself,  and  to  have  sense  is  to  know 
that  learning  itself  is  not  knowledge?*  Shall  the  best 
natured  of  old  men,  Senecio,  prove  to  us  that  the  natural 
and  not  the  acquired  man  is  the  companion ;  that  benevo- 
lence is  the  only  law  of  good-breeding;  that  society  can? 
take  no  account  of  fortune ;  and  that  he  who  brings  his 
quality  with  him  into  conversation,  coming  to  receive 
homage  and  not  to  meet  his  friends,  should  pay  the  reck- 
oning also?'  Shall  we  listen  to  Will  Courtly,  saying 
nothing  but  what  was  said  before,  yet  appearing  neither 
ignorant  among  the  learned  nor  indiscreet  with  the  wise„ 

^  Tatler,  No.  37.  **  faculties,  and  not  to  disguise  our 

2  Tatler,  No.  38.  "  imperfections.     It  is  therefore  ia 

'  Tatler,  No.  48.  **  vain  for  folly  to  attempt  to  conceal 

■*  Tatler,  No.   58.     This  subject  "  itself  by  the  refuge   of  learned 

he    pursues   in    another   admirable  "  langnages.      Literature  does  but 

Tatler  of  later  date  (No.  197),  where  "  make  a  man  more  eminently  the 

he  points  out  that  "all  the  true  use  "  thing  which  Nature  made  him." 

"  of  what  we  call  learning  is  to  en-  *  Tatler^  No.  45. 
"  noble   and  improve   our  natural 


n 


178  FATHER   OF   THE    EXGLISH   ESSAY.    \_Sir  RlcJiard 

and  acknowledge,  so  long  as  Will  can  thus  converse  with 
the  wittiest  without  being  ridiculous,  that,  if  ceremony  is 
the  invention  of  wise  men  to  keep  fools  at  a  distance, 
good-breeding  must  be  its  opposite  expedient  of  putting 
wise  men  and  less  wise  on  an  equality  ?  ^  Shall  we  make 
ourselves  easy  in  the  company  of  Sophronius,  who,  when 
he  does  a  service,  charms  us  not  more  by  his  alacrity 
than,  when  he  declines  one,  by  his  manner  of  convincing 
us  that  such  service  should  not  have  been  asked  ?  ^  Or 
shall  we  fidget  ourselves  in  a  room  with  Jack  Dimple, 
who,  having  found  out  that  what  makes  Sophronius 
acceptable  is  a  natural  behaviour,  in  order  to  the  same 
reputation  makes  his  own  entirely  artificial,  meditates 
half  an  hour  in  the  ante- room  to  get  up  his  careless  air, 
and  is  continually  running  back  to  the  mirror  to  recollect 
his  forgetfulness  ? ' 

Such  are  among  a  few  of  the  characters  and  essays 
which,  while  Mr.  Macaulay  would  represent  the  Tatler  as 
yet  given  up  to  sheer  commonplace,  Steele  with  a  pro- 
digal wit  and  exuberant  fancy  was  pouring  out  upon  its 
readers.  We  touch  but  slightly  these  few,  and  only  hint 
at  their  purport  and  design ;  entering  into  no  more  detail 
than  may  carry  with  it  the  means  of  outweighing  an  asser- 
tion, advanced  on  authority  too  high  to  be  met  by  mere 
assertion  of  our  own.  We  leave  fifty  things  unnamed, 
and  take  from  those  named  only  a  sentence  here  and 
there :  but  is  it  not  enough  ?  Not  to  speak  of  what  will 
better  be  described  hereafter,  of  social  colouring  and  indi- 
vidual expression,  have  we  not  here  what  gave  life  to  the 
Tatler'}  Have  we  not  the  sprightly  father  of  the  English 
Essay,  writing  at  the  first  even  as  he  wrote  to  the  last ; 
out  of  a  true  and  honest  heart  sympathising  with  all 
things  good  and  true;  already  master  of  his  design 
in  beginning  it,  and  able  to  stand  and  move  without 
help  of  any  kind,  if  the  need  should  be  ?  In  his  easy 
chair  we  shall  hereafter  see  Mr.  Bickerstaff,  amid  the 
rustling  of  hoop-petticoats,  the  fluttering  of  fans,  and  the 
obeisance  of  flowing  perukes :  but  what  here  for  the  pre- 
sent we  see,  is  the  critic  and  philosopher  Steele,  more 
wise  and  not  less  agreeable ;  who,  in  an  age  that  faction 

1  TatltT,  No.  30.  *  Ti  tier,  No.  21.  '  Ibid. 


Sleele,"]      getting  wisdom  out  of  trifles.  179 

brutalised  and  profligacy  debased,  undertook  the  censor- 
sliip  of  manners,  and  stamped  at  once  upon  the  work  he 
invented  a  genius  as  original  as  delightfuL  Here  we 
have  ourselves  the  means  of  judging  if  it  was  gossip,  and 
compliments,  and  pasquinades,  in  the  midst  of  which 
Addison  found  his  friend ;  or  whether,  already,  he  had  not 
struck  out  the  thought  by  which  both  must  be  famous  for 
ever,  of  enlivening  morality  with  wit,  and  tempering  wit 
with  morality  ? 

But  another  fact  is  not  less  manifest  in  the  examples 
given,  and  with  it  perhaps  something  of  excuse  for  the 
£alf  contemptuous  tone  that  has  done  him  such  injustice, 
'^here  is  nothing  so  peculiar  to  his  manner  as  the  art  of 
getting  wisdom  out  of  trifles.  Without  gravely  trans- 
lating his  humorous  announcement,^  that,  when  any  part 
of  his  paper  appeared  dull,  it  was  to  be  noted  that  there 
was  a  design  in  it,  we  may  say  with  perfect  truth  that  he 
had  a  design  in  everything.  But  a  laugh  never  yet  looked  , 
so  wise  as  a  frown ;  and,  unless  you  are  at  pains  to  look 
a  little  beneath  it,  the  wisdom  of  Mr.  Isaac  Bickerstaff 
may  now  and  then  escape  yoiy'  The  humorous  old  gentle- 
man who  is  always  prying  into  his  neighbours'  concerns, 
when  he  is  not  gossiping  of  his  own ;  to  whom  the  young 
beau  is  made  responsible  for  wearing  red-heeled  shoes, 
and  the  young  belle  for  showing  herself  too  long  at  her 
glass;  who  turns  the  same  easy  artillery  of  wit  against 
the  rattling  dice-box  and  the  roaring  pulpit ;  who  has 
early  notice  of  most  of  the  love-afi'airs  in  town,  can  tell 
you  of  half  the  domestic  quarrels,  and  knows  more  of  a 
widow  with  a  handsome  jointure  than  her  own  lawyer  or 
next  of  kin ;  whose  tastes  take  a  range  as  wide  as  his 
experience,  to  whom  Plutarch  is  not  less  familiar  than  a 
pretty  fellow,  and  who  has  for  his  clients  not  only  the 
scholars  of  the  Grecian,  but  the  poets  at  Will's,  the  men 
of  fashion  at  White's,  and  the  quidnuncs  of  the  St. 
James's, — this  old  humourist,' yoa  would  say,  is  about  the 
last  man  to  pass  for  a  Socrates.r^nd  yet  there  was  some- 
thing more  than  whim  in  the  good  Isaac's  ambition  to 
have  it  said  of  his  Lucubrations,  that,  whereas  Socrates  had  j 
brought  philosophy  down  from  heaven  to  inhabit  among  I 

K  2 


180  HUMANiTAS  HUMANissiMA.        [S/V  Richard 

\  men,  he  liad  himself  aimed  to  bring  philosophy  out  of 
closets   and  libraries,  schools  and  collegps,  to  dwell  in 
clubs  and  assemblies,  at  tea-tables  and  in  cofFee-houses^>^ 
For,  it  is  his  actual  and  marked  peculiarity,  that  neither 

^more  nor  less  than  this  may  generally  be  detected  in 
Steele.  One  of  the  sincerest  of  men,  he  was  the  most 
natural  of  writers  ;  and,  living  in  the  thick  of  the  world, 
he  could  not'  write  but  with  a  vivid  and  ever  present 
sense  of  it.  "/The  humanitas  humanissima  is  never  absent 
from  him.  If  he  takes  up  a  book,  it  is  not  for  a  bookish 
purpose  ;  he  is  thinking  always  of  the  life  around  him^/> 
Never  yet,  we  think,  has  he  had  the  due  and  distinctive 
praise  for  this,  which  in  some  sort  separates  him  from 
every  humourist  and  satirist  of  his  time.  Wit  more 
piercing  and  keen,  a  reflective  spirit  of  wider  scope,  a  style 
more  correct  and  pure,  even  humour  more  consummate  than 
his  own,  will  be  found,  in  the  way  of  comment  upon  life, 
among  his  friends  and  fellow- labourers ;  but,  for  that 
which  vividly  brings  actual  Life  before  us,  which  touches 
the  heart  as  with  a  present  experience,  which  sympathises 
to  the  very  core  with  all  that  moves  the  joy  or  sorrow  of  his 
fellows,  and  which  still,  even  as  then,  can  make  the  follies 
of  men  ridiculous  and  their  vices  hateful  without  branding 
ridicule  or  hate  upon  the  men  themselves, — we  must  turn 
to  Steele,  ^n  his  little  pictures  of  the  world,  that  open 
new  and  unexpected  views  of  it ;  in  his  wonderfully  pathetic 
little  stories,  that  fill  our  eyes  with  tears  ;  in  those  trivial 
details  by  which  he  would  make  life  easier  and  happier, 
in  those  accidents  the  most  common  and  familiar  out  of 
which  he  draws  secrets  of  humanity ;  what  most,  after  aU, 
impresses  us,  is  a  something  independent  of  authorshigj^ 
We  like  him  the  more  for  being  nearer  and  more  like  our- 
selves, not  for  being  higher  or  standing  apart ;  and  it  is 
still  the  man  whom  his  writings  make  pleasant  to  us,  more 
than  the  author,  the  wit,  thepartizan,  or  the  fine  gentleman. 
And  a  great  reason  for  this  we  take  to  be,  that  he 
founded  his  theory  and  views  of  life  rather  on  the 
realities  that  men  should  bravely  practise,  than  on  the 
pretences^)  which  for  the  most  part  they  shamefully 
submit.  'To  be  a  man  of  breeding,  was  with  him  to  be  a 
man  of  feeling  ;  to  be  a  fine  gentleman,  in  his  own  phrase, 
was  to  be  a  generous  and  brave  man ;  he  had  a  proper 


Steele.~\  ox  vulgarity.  181 

contempt  for  the  good  manners  that  did  not  also  impty 
the  good  morals ;  and  it  was  the  exalting  and  purifying 
influence  of  love  for  Lady  Betty  Modish,  that  made  his 
Colonel  Ranter  cease  to  swear  at  the  waiters^  Be  his 
theme,  therefore,  small  or  great,  he  hrings  it  sull  within 
rules  and  laws  which  we  find  have  not  lost  their  interest 
for  ourselves  ;  and  to  which,  in  truth,  we  are  in  all  respects 
still  as  amenable,  as  if  the  red-heeled  shoe,  the  hooped 
petticoat,  or  the  flowing  peruke,  were  yet  potent  and  pre- 
dominant in  our  century.  As  an  instance  which  at  once 
will  explain  our  meaning,  let  us  take  what  he  says  of 
vulgarity.  It  also  is  in  one  of  these  early  Tatlers.' 
There  is  perhaps  no  word  so  misused,  certainly  none  of 
which  the  misuse  is  so  mischievous  ;  and  not  unfairly,  by 
the  opinions  held  of  it,  we  may  .take  the  measure  of  a 
code  of  ethics  and  philosophy. 
^y^^ieelQ^^  view  of  the  matter,  then,  is,  that  it  is  to  him 
a  very  great  meanness,  and  something  much  below  a 
philosopher,  which  is  what  he  means  by  a  gentleman,  to 
rank  a  man  among  the  vulgar  for  the  condition  of  life  he 
is  in,  and  not  according  to  his  behaviour,  his  thoughts, 
and  his  sentiments  in  that  conditionJ?^  For,  as  he  puts  it, 
if  a  man  be  loaded  with  riches  and  honours,  and  in  that 
state  has  thoughts  and  inclinations  below  the  meanest 
workman,  is  not  such  a  workman,  who  within  his  power 
is  good  to  his  friends  and  cheerful  in  his  occupation, 
much  superior  in  all  ways  to  him  who  lives  but  to  serve 
himself  ?  He  then  quotes  the  comparison,  from  Epictetus, 
of  human  life  to  a  stage  play  ;  in  which  the  philosopher 
tells  us  it  is  not  for  us  to  consider,  among  the  actors,  who 
is  prince  or  who  is  beggar,  but  who  acts  prince  or  beggar 

^  Tatler,  No.  10.  "  extraordinary  in  such  a  man  as 

*  Tatler,  No.  69.  "  lie  is,  and  tlie  like ;   when  they 

^  How  charmingly  he  illustrates  "  are    forced  to  acknowledge    the 

this  in  his  paper  on  the  death  of  '*  value  of  him  whose  lowness  up- 

Richard  Eastcourt  the  comedian,  one  *' braids  their  exaltation.     It  is  to 

of   his  masterpieces  of  feeling  and  **  this    humour   only   it   is   to    be 

style,  a  brief  extract  will  show  :  "ascribed,    that   a   quick   wit   in 

"  It  is  an  insolence  natural  to  the  "  conversation,    a    nice    judgment 

**  wealthy,  to  affix,  as  much  as  in  "upon  any  emergency  that  could 

*'  them  lies,  the  character  of  a  man  "  arise,   and  a  most  blameless  in- 

"  to  his  circumstances.     Thus  it  is  "offensive    behaviour,     could    not 

' '  ordinary    with    them   to    praise  ' '  raise  this  man  above  being  re- 

"  faintly  the  good  qualities  of  those  "  ceived  only  upon  the  foot  of  con- 

"  below  them,   and  say,  it  is  very  "  tributing  to  mirth  and  diversion.'* 


182    ON  SOCIAL  DUTIES  AND  DISTINCTIONS.     [<S/V  Rlchard 

best.  In  other  words,  the  circumstance  of  life  should  not 
be  that  which  gives  us  place,  but  our  conduct  in  that 
circumstance.  This  alone  can  be  our  solid  distinction  ; 
and  from  it  Steele  proceeds  to  draw  certain  rules  of 
breeding  and  behaviour.  A  wise  man,  he  says,  should 
think  no  man  above  him  or  below  him,  any  fui'ther  than 
it  regards  the  outward  order  or  discipline  of  the  world ; 
for,  if  we  conceive  too  great  an  idea  of  the  eminence  of 
those  above,  or  of  the  subordination  of  those  below,  it 
will  have  an  ill  effect  upon  our  behaviour  to  both.  With 
a  noble  spirit  he  adds,  that  he  who  thinks .  no  man  his 
superior  but  for  virtue,  and  none  his  inferior  but  for  vice, 
can  never  be  obsequious  or  assuming  in  a  wrong  place  ; 
but  will  be  ready  as  frequently  to  emulate  men  in  rank 
below  him,  as  to  avoid  and  pity  those  above.  Not  that 
there  was  anything  of  the  democrat,  or  leveller,  in  Steele. 
He  knew  too  well  that  the  distinctions  of  life,  if  taken  at 
their  true  worth,  would  never  fail  to  support  themselves ; 
and  it  was  his  knowledge  of  the  quite  irrepressible 
influence  of  wealth  and  station,  that  urged  him  to  such 
repeated  enforcement  of  the  social  charities  and  duties  to 
which  he  believed  them  to  be  also  not  less  bound.  It  was 
no  easy  part,  in  his  opinion,  that  the  man  of  rank  and 
wealth  had  to  play.  It  was  no  easy  thing,  in  friendly 
intercourse,  to  check  the  desire  to  assume  mme  superiority 
on  the  ground  of  position  or  fortune.  It  is  not  every 
man,  he  said  with  an  exquisite  felicity  of  phrase,  that  can 
entertain  with  the  air  of  a  guest,  and  do  good  offices  with 
the  mien  of  one  that  receives  them. 
^     J  The  subject,  ha^dng  drawn  us  so  far,  tempts  us  to  other 

^  ^  illustrations// As  Steele  thus  held,  in  the  great  commerce 
of  the  world,  that  a  man  must  be  valued  apart  from  his 
circumstances,  in  like  manner  he  also  held,  that,  in  his 
relations  with  it,  he  must  regulate  what  he  would  appear 
to  be  by  nothing  other  than  actually  becoming  it.  Nor 
is  there,  in  this  mode  of  reasoning,  anything  too  little  or 
too  great  not  to  yield  as  its  result,  to  his  philosophy,  the 
value  of  reality  beyond  appearance//  The  fatality,  he  re- 
marks in  the  27th  Tatler,  under  which  most  men  labour, 
of  desiring  to  be  what  they  are  not,  makes  them  go  out 
of  a  method  in  which  they  might  be  received  with 
applause,  and  would  certainly  excel,  into  one  wherein 


Steele.~\  on  appearance  and  reality.  183 

tliey  will  all  their  life  have  the  air  of  strangers  to  what 
/  they  aim  at.  y  "With  him  originated  the  teaching,  that  a 
I  man  must  not  hope  to  pass  for  anything  more  than  he  is 
worth  ;  that  he  must  take  care  of  his  own  wisdom  and 
his  own  virtue,  without  minding  too  much  what  others 
think  ;  and  that,  in  what  he  knows  himself  that  he  has, 
can  rest  his  only  safe  pledge  at  any  time  for  its  acknow-  ^ 
ledgment  by  other^  Not  all  the  mistakes,  he  argued, 
in  a  noble  paper  or  somewhat  later  date  than  these  to 
which  we  have  been  referring,'  committed  by  the  vain 
and  the  proud,  in  taking  praise  for  honour  and  ceremony 
for  respect,  could  ever  tend  to  make  vanity  and  pride  in 
themselves  less  ridiculous  and  odious  ;  for  what  springs 
out  of  falsehood  may  not  be  cured  by  anything  short  of 
truth.  To  no  end  is  it,  therefore,  that  men  study  to 
appear  considerable,  if  in  their  own  hearts  they  be  not 
actual  possessors  of  the  requisites  for  the  esteem  they 
seek.  What  in  the  former  case  is  impossible,  would  in 
this  be  unavoidable  ;  and  it  is  the  only  rule  to  walk  by 
safely.  Hence,  proceeds  Steele,  it  will  be  a  useful  hint  in 
all  such  cases  for  a  man  to  ask  himself,  whether  he  really 
is  what  he  has  a  mind  to  he  thought ;  for  if  he  is,  he  need  ^ 
not  give  himself  much  further  anxiety.  '^  What  will  the  ^ 
"  World  say,"  would  then  no  longer  be  his  question  in 
matters  of  difficulty ;  as  if  the  terror  lay  wholly  in  the 
sense  which  others,  and  not  ourselves,  should  have  of  our 
actions.  And  so  we  should  destroy  the  one  fatal  source 
from  which  have  arisen  all  the  impostors  in  every  art 
and  profession,  in  all  places,  among  all  persons,  in  con-  > 
versation,  in  business,  in  society,  in  the  worl(j/''  "  Hence 
"  also  is  it,"  he  adds  quietly,  and  with  excellent  effect 
after  all  his  emphasis,  "  that  a  vain  fellow  takes  twice  as 
"  much  pains  to  be  ridiculous  as  would  make  him  sin- 
"  cerely  agreeable."  For  we  are  never  to  be  permitted 
to  lose  sight  of  the  fact,  that  the  little  and  the  great 
subserve  still  the  same  truths  and  laws,  in  the  eyes  of 
our  kindly  philosopher,  tatler,  and  companion. 

To  which  end,  from  every  part  of  his  delightful  book, 
it  would  be  easy  to  continue  our  instances  and  illustra- 
tions, to  the  still  recurring  evidence  and  proof  that  there 
is  nothing  to  be  imagined  so  trivial  which  may  not  yet 

1  Tatler,  No.  186. 


184    SAME    LAWS   FOR   LITTLE   AND    GREAT.    {^Sir  RicJtavd 

be  used  to  establisli  tlie  superiority  of  truth  over  all  the 
affectations  and  pretences.  "  I  have  heard,"  he  remarks 
in  one  of  the  later  Tatlers/  "  my  old  friend  Mr.  Hart ' 
*'  speak  it  as  an  observation  among  the  players  that  it  is 
"  impossible  to  act  with  grace  except  the  actor  has  forgot 
"  that  he  is  before  an  audience."  Still  the  reasoning  is 
the  same,  still  the  conclusion  is  unerring,  whether  the 
audience  be  the  world,  the  coffee-house,  the  drawing- 
room,  or  the  theatre ;  and  you  would  hardly  suppose,  by 
his  manner  of  handling  any,  that  Mr.  Bickerstaff  thought 
the  least  of  less  importance  than  the  greatest.  For, 
indeed,  in  his  mode  of  viewing  life,  neither  is  quite  inde- 
pendent of  the  other  ;  and  it  was  he  who  first  compared 
the  man  of  much  knowledge  and  many  thoughts,  unprac- 
tised in  the  arts  of  society,  to  one  who  has  his  pockets 
full  of  gold  but  always  wants  change  for  his  ordinary 
occasions.  "  We  see  a  world  of  pains  taken,"  he  con- 
tinues,^ "  and  the  best  years  of  life  spent,  in  collecting  a 
^*  set  of  thoughts  in  a  college  for  the  conduct  of  life  ;  and, 
"  after  all,  the  man  so  qualified  shall  hesitate  in  his  speech 
"  to  a  good  suit  of  clothes,  and  want  common  sense  before 
*^  an  agreeable  woman." 

The  remark  opportunely  takes  us  back  to  those  earlier 
Tatlers  which  contain  it,  and  to  the  purpose  for  which  we 
have  referred  to  them ;  nor  will  its  hints  as  to  college 
life  render  less  appropriate  the  single  additional  reference 
we  shall  make,  before  resuming  what  waits  us  still  of  Mr. 
Macaulay's  censure.  In  his  39th  Tatler,  Mr.  Bickerstaff 
visits  Oxford :  not  in  search  of  popular  preachers  to 
criticise,  of  pretty  faces  to  compliment,  or  of  youthful 
follies  to  pasquinade  ;  but  to  refresh  his  imagination  in  a 
scene  sacred  to  civilisation  and  learning,  where  so  far  his 
own  social  philosophy  prevails,  that  not  the  fortunes  but 

^  Tatler^  No.  138.  *'  rior,  just  as  we  do  of  Betterton's 

2  This   was  the  actor    to  whom  **  being   superior   to    those   now." 

Pope  makes  the  characteristic  allu-  It  is  the  universal  rule  in  such  mat- 

sion  in  speaking  of  Betterton.      "I  ters.     When  Lady  Louisa  Meyrick 

"was  acquainted  with    Betterton  was  taken  to  see  Mrs.  Siddons,  she 

"  from  a  boy.  .  .   .     Yes,   I  really  protested  that,  compared  with  the 

*'  think  Betterton  the  best  actor  I  favourite  of  her  youth,  Mrs.  Porter, 

**  ever  saw  ;  but  I  ought  to  tell  you,  her  grief  was  the  giief  of  a  cheese- 

*'  at  the  same  time,   that  in  Better-  monger's  wife. 
"  ton's  days  the  older  sort  of  people  ^  Tatler,  No.  30. 

"  talked  of  Hart's  being  his  supe- 


Steele.^      attack  on  Steele  by  macaulay.  185 

the  understandings  of  men  exact  distinction  and  pre- 
cedence, and  you  shall  see  an  Earl  walk  bareheaded  to 
the  son  of  the  meanest  artificer,  in  respect  to  seven  years' 
more  knowledge  and  worth  than  the  nobleman  is  pos- 
sessed of.  "The  magnificence  of  their  palaces,"  adds 
Steele,  "  the  greatness  of  their  revenues,  the  sweetness 
"  of  their  groves  and  retirements,  seem  equally  adapted 
"  for  the  residence  of  princes  and  philosophers ;  and  a 
"  familiarity  with  objects  of  splendour,  as  well  as  places 
"  of  recess,  prepares  the  inhabitants  with  an  equanimity 
*'  for  their  future  fortunes,  whether  humble  or  illustrious." 
We  think,  as  we  read  the  paper,  of  some  of  the  most 
pleasing  turns  of  Addison. 

But,  alas  !  what  would  be  said  to  such  a  remark  by 
Mr.  Macaulay,  who,  taking  up  the  project  of  the  Tatler  at 
the  low  design  we  have  seen  him  attribute  to  it,  proceeds 
drily  to  describe  its  editor  as  "  wo^  ^7/-qualified  "  to  give 
efiect  to  such  a  plan  ?  Steele  was  not  i7/-qualified,  that 
is,  to  compile  news,  to  give  an  account  of  a  theatrical 
representation,  to  collect  literary  gossip  at  Will's  and  the 
Grecian,  to  remark  on  fashionable  topics,  to  compliment 
a  beauty,  to  pasquinade  a  sharper,  or  to  criticise  a  popular 
preacher.  For,  Mr.  Macaulay  continues,  his  public  intel- 
ligence he  drew  from  the  best  sources  j  he  not  only  knew 
the  town,  but  had  paid  dear  for  his  knowledge ;  "he  had 
"  read  much  more  "  (now,  do  not  let  the  sanguine  reader 
expect  too  much)  "  than  the  dissipated  men  of  that  time 
"  were  in  the  habit  of  reading ; "  if  he  was  a  rake  among 
scholars,  he  was  a  scholar  among  rakes ;  nay,  his  style 
was  even  easy  and  not  incorrect ;  and  though  his  wit  and 
humour  were  of  no  high  order,  his  gay  animal  spirits 
imparted  to  his  compositions  an  air  of  vivacity  which 
ordinary  readers  could  hardly  distinguish  from  comic 
genius.  "  His  writings  have  been  well  compared  to  those 
"  light  wines  which,  though  deficient  in  body  and  flavour, 
"  are  yet  a  pleasant  small  drink,  if  not  kept  too  long,  or 
"  carried  too  far."  It  is  sufiiciently  clear,  at  least,  that 
they  have  survived  too  long  for  Mr.  Macaulay.  Yinegar 
is  not  more  sour  than  the  pleasant  small  drink,  kept  now 
too  long  by  nearly  a  century  and  a  half,  is  become  to 
him. 

We  must  accept  it,  we  suppose,  as  among  the  chances 


186     VICISSITUDES  OF  OLD  REPUTATIONS.  [S/r  Richavd 

and  vicissitudes  to  which  old  reputations  are  subject. 
Steele  was  famed  as  a  wit  before  Pope  came  upon  the 
town,  and  in  those  days  a  young  poet  who  could  say  he 
had  dined  with  him  was  not  without  claims  to  considera- 
tion.' In  the  succeeding  age,  this  opinion  went  on  gather- 
ing strength ;  and  it  was  enough  for  a  man  to  have 
merely  written  a  single  paper  in  one  of  the  works  he  con- 
ducted, to  be  thought  entitled  to  unquestioned  celebrity. 
"  For  example,"  said  Murphy  to  Johnson,^  "  there  is  Mr. 
"  Ince,  who  used  to  frequent  Tom's  Coffee-house ;  he  has 
"  obtained  considerable  fame  merely  from  having  written 
"  a  paper  in  the  Spectator.^'  "  But,"  interposed  Johnson, 
"  you  must  consider  how  highly  Steele  speaks  of  Mr. 
''  Ince."  The  dull  Dr.  Hurd  followed,  and  brayed  Steele 
down  loudly  enough  ;  but  afterwards  came  a  reaction,  the 
laborious  and  industrious  Nichols  produced  careful 
editions  of  his  writings,  and  he  resumed  his  admitted  rank 
as  a  humourist  of  the  first  order,  the  most  pathetic  of 
story-tellers,  the  kindest  of  wits  and  critics,  and,  of  all 
the  fathers  of  English  Essay,  the  most  natural  and  the 
most  inventive.  Charles  Lamb,  Hazlitt,  and  Leigh  Hunt, 
no  inconsiderable  authorities,  even  placed  him  above  his 
friend,  on  an  eminence  where  we  cannot  and  need  not 
follow  them.  What  now  has  befallen  him  in  the  other 
extreme  we  see,  and  that  more  than  two  hundred  Tatlers, 
nearly  two  hundred  and  fifty  Spectators,  and  some  eighty" 
Guardians,  to  say  nothing  of  Englishmen,  Lovers,  Eeaders, 
Theatres,  Town  Talks,  Plebeians,  Chit  Chats,  and  what 
not,  have  failed  to  win  from  Mr.  Macaulay  as  much 
kindly  recognition,  as  the  good  old  Samuel  Johnson  was 
ready  to  reward  Mr.  Ince  with,  for  one  Spectator. 

But  we  cannot  unresistingly  surrender  the  fame  of 
Steele  even  to  Mr.  Macaulay's  well-merited  fame.  To  a 
reputation  which  time  has  made  classical  there  belongs 
what  no  new  reputation  can  have,  till  it  shall  in  turn 
become  old ;  and  in  the  attempt  to  reverse,  by  a  few  con- 

^  The  reader  of  Pope  will  remem-  "  'Twas  all  the  ambition  his  high 

ber  his  laugh  at  Ambrose  Philips  :  soul  could  feel, 

-  When  simple  Macer,  now  of  high  "  ^o  wear  red  stockings,  and  to  dine 

renown,  with  Steele." 

"First  sought  a  poet's  fortune  in  2  BosweirsZi/e,  10th April,  1776. 

the  town  : 


Steele.~\  affection  foe,  addison.  187 

temptuous  sentences,  a  verdict  of  nearly  two  centuries, 
it  is  the  assailant  who  is  most  in  peril.  The  disadvantage 
doubtless  is  great  in  having  to  meet  a  general  attack  by 
detailed  assertion  of  the  claims  denied,  but  abeady  we 
have  not  shrunk  from  that  detail ;  and  still,  before  enter- 
ing on  such  a  sketch  of  Steele's  personal  career  as  may 
best  perhaps  fix  those  claims,  and  ascertain  his  real  place 
among  the  men  of  his  time,  more  of  the  same  kind  awaits 
us.  But  we  will  not  be  tempted  into  comparisons  that 
would  have  given  pain  to  his  own  generous  nature.  There 
was  no  measure  to  Steele's  afiection  for  Addison.  Even 
Fielding's  wit  could  not  exaggerate  the  eagerness  with 
which,  on  all  occasions,  he  depreciated  his  own  writings  to 
exaggerate  those  of  his  friend.  He  was  above  all  men  in 
the  talent  we  call  humour,  he  exclaimed  again  and  again ; 
he  had  it  in  a  form  more  exquisite  and  delightful  than 
any  other  man  ever  possessed.  He  declared,  in  the  last 
number  of  the  TatleVy  that  its  finest  strokes  of  wit  and 
humour  had  been  Addison's.  He  avowed  himself,  in  the 
last  number  of  the  Spectator^  more  proud  of  Addison's 
long-continued  friendship  than  he  should  be  of  the  fame 
of  being  thought  even  the  author  of  his  writings.  "  I 
"  fared  like  a  distressed  prince,"  he  said  again,  speaking 
of  him  in  the  preface  to  the  Tatler's  last  volume,  "  who 
"  calls  in  a  powerful  neighbour  to  his  aid.  I  was  undone 
"  by  my  auxiliary.  When  I  had  once  called  him  in,  I 
"  could  not  subsist  without  dependence  on  him."  That 
Addison  had  changed  the  design  of  the  paper,  he  never 
said ;  but  he  never  tired  of  saying  that  his  genius  had 
elevated  and  enriched  it.  Again,  and  still  again,  at 
various  times,  he  reasserts  this  with  all  the  hearty  warmth 
of  his  unselfish  and  unmisgiving  nature.  *'  I  rejoiced  in 
"  being  excelled,"  he  exclaims,  remarking  on  Mr.  Tickell's 
not  very  generous  doubts  ;  ^'  and  made  those  little  talents, 
"  whatever  they  are,  which  I  have,  give  way,  and  be  sub- 
"  servient  to  the  superior  qualities  of  a  friend  whom  I 
"  loved."  Eeplying  to  a  more  savage  attack  by  Dennis, 
he  still  contrives  occasion  to  refer  to  "  that  excellent  man 
"  whom  Heaven  made  my  friend  and  superior."  Nor  had 
that  friend  been  many  weeks  in  his  grave,  when,  forgetful 
of  all  that  had  clouded  their  latter  intercourse,  and  having 
a  necessity  to  mention  their  joint  connection  with  the 


188  ISSUE  JOINED  WITH  MACAULAY.     [Sir  Rlc hard 

Tatler  and  Spectator^  lie  describes  himself  as  not  merely 
the  inventor  of  those  papers,  but  the  introducer  into  them 
of  ^'  a  much  better  writer  than  himself  who  is  now  im- 
"  mortal."  '  Such  a  feeling  we  are  bound  to  respect,  we 
think,  out  of  respect  to  him  who  entertained  it;  even 
while  we  see  that  he  suffers  no  disadvantage  from  such  a 
noble  modesty. 

We  take  therefore  a  specific  statement  made  by  Mr. 
Macaulay,  not  necessarily  involving  a  comparison,  though 
made  to  justify  the  contempt  which  would  sacrifice  one 
reputation  to  the  other ;  and  we  shall  meet  it  by  some 
additional  references  to  Tatlers  written  by  Steele,  so  made 
as  also  to  include  some  means  of  judgment  upon  them. 
After  stating  that  at  the  close  of  1709  the  work  was  more 
popular  than  any  periodical  paper  had  ever  been,  and  that 
Addison's  connexion  with  it  was  generally  known,  Mr. 
Macaulay  adds  that  it  was  not  however  known  that  almost 
everything  good  in  it  was  his  ;  and  that  his  fifty  or  sixty 
numbers  were  not  merely  the  best,  but  so  decidedly  the 
best,  that  any  five  of  them  were  more  valuable  than  all 
the  two  hundred  numbers  in  which  he  had  no  share.  In 
mere  extent,  we  may  pause  to  remark,  the  participation 
was  not  so  large ;  for,  of  the  sixty  numbers  printed  by 
Tickell,  not  much  fewer  than  twenty  were  joint  compo- 
sitions, and  Steele  bore  his  full  and  equal  part  in  those 
humorous  proceedings  before  the  Court  of  Honour,  where 
even  Bishop  Hurd  is  fain  to  admit  that  "  Sir  Richard 
"  hath  acquitted  himself  better  than  usual."  But  to 
dwell  further  upon  this  would  involve  what  we  wish  to 
avoid.  What  is  absolutely  good,  or  absolutely  bad,  is  not 
matter  of  relation  or  comparison :  and  if,  upon  the 
examples  of  Steele's  Tatlers  which  now  we  are  about  to 
add  to  those  already  named,  any  question  or  doubt  can  be 
raised  of  their  wit,  feeling,  or  truth ;  of  their  invention,  their 
observation  of  life  and  of  the  shades  of  character ;  of  their 
humour,  or  the  high  moral  tendency  of  their  satire ;  nay, 
even  of  their  sweetness,  facility,  and  grace  of  style ;  the 
verdict  will  pass  which  determines,  not  this  or  that  degree 
of  inferiority  to  his  friend,  but  the  issue  specifically  raised 
by  Mr.  Macaulay,  of   whether  or   not,    independently 

»  The  Theatre  No.  8,  Jan.    26,  1719-20. 


Sleele.']        tale  told  by  mr.  bickerstaff.  189 

of  sucli  considerations,  Steele's  title  as  an  English 
humourist  is  to  he  conceded  any  longer.  The  statue 
has  been  flung  down  from  its  pedestal,  but  its  features 
remain  yet  undefaced;  and  upon  an  honest  and  im- 
partial judgment  of  them,  must  rest  its  claim  to  be 
restored. 

Our  first  example  shall  be  a  domestic  picture,  drawn 
by  Steele  in  two  Tatlers  of  within  a  few  weeks'  date  of 
each  other  (Nos.  95  and  114),  which  to  our  thinking 
includes  in  itself  almost  every  quality  enumerated,  and 
that  in  no  indifferent  degree.  It  is  a  common-life  interior, 
of  a  truth  and  exactness  which  Wilkie  or  Leslie  might 
have  painted,  and  of  that  kind  of  pathos  and  purity  which 
Goldsmith  or  Dickens  might  have  written.  In  connexion 
with  it,  too,  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  at  this  time,  as 
Mr.  Macaulay  observes  in  his  Essay,  no  such  thing  as  the 
English  novel  existed.  De  Foe  as  yet  was  only  an  eager 
politician,  Eichardson  an  industrious  compositor,  Fielding 
a  mischievous  schoolboy,  and  Smollett  and  Goldsmith 
were  not  born.  For  your  circulating  libraries  (the  first  of 
which  had  been  established  some  six  years  before,  to  the 
horror  of  sellers  of  books,  and  the  ruin  of  its  ingenious 
inventor)  there  was  as  yet  nothing  livelier,  in  that  direc- 
tion, than  the  interminable  Grand  Cyrus  of  Madame  de 
Scuderi,  or  the  long-winded  Cassandra  and  Pharamond 
of  the  lord  of  La  Calprenede,  which  Steele  so  heartily 
laughed  at  in  his  Tender  Husband. 

The  little  story  conveyed  in  the  two  papers  is  of  the 
simplest  possible  description.  Mr.  Bickerstaff  visits  an 
old  married  friend,  who  had  been  his  schoolfellow  and 
his  college  companion,  in  whose  house  he  always  feels  as 
in  a  second  home,  and  where,  as  soon  as  the  family  come 
to  town  for  the  winter,  he  is  expected  to  dinner  as  a 
matter  of  course.  How  pretty  is  the  opening  scene!  "  I 
*'  cannot,  indeed,  express  the  pleasure  it  is  to  be  met  by 
"  the  children  with  so  much  joy  as  I  am  when  I  go 
"  thither.  The  boys  and  girls  strive  who  shall  come 
*'  first,  when  they  think  it  is  I  that  am  knocking  at  the 
"  door;  and  that  child  which  loses  the  race  to  me  runs  back 
"  again  to  tell  the  father  it  is  Mr.  Bickerstafi".  This  day 
"  I  was  led  in  by  a  pretty  girl  that  we  all  thought  must 
*'  have  forgot  mc,  for  the  family  has  been  out  of  town 


190  MARRIED   AND   BACHELOR    LIFE.       \jSir  Rtchard 

"  these  two  years.  Her  knowing  me  again  was  a  mighty 
"  subject  with  us,  and  took  up  our  discourse  at  the  first 
"  entrance."  Then  follows  pleasant  raillery  of  Mr.  Bic- 
kerstaff  from  all  the  circle,  upon  numberless  Kttle  stories 
that  had  been  told  of  him  in  the  country ;  the  hints  they 
have  heard  of  his  marriage  with  a  young  lady  there ;  the 
hope  they  express  that  he  will  yet  give  the  preference  to  our 
eldest  daughter,  Mrs.  Mary,  now  sixteen  ;  and  the  father's 
laughing  disbeliefs,  founded  on  Mr.  B's  love  afi'airs  of  old, 
and  the  verses  he  wrote  on  Teraminta.  But  after  dinner 
the  friends  are  alone,  and  then  fears  for  his  wife's  health 
break  from  the  husband,  which  the  other  tries  to  turn 
aside  ;  and  so  arise  genial  memories  of  the  past,  Mr.  Bic- 
kerstaff  talking  over  all  his  friend's  courting  days  again, 
how  they  first  saw  her  at  the  playhouse,  and  it  was  himself 
who  followed  her  from  the  playhouse  to  ascertain  her  name, 
and  who  carried  his  friend's  first  love-letter  to  her,  and 
who  carried  it  back  to  him  unopened,  and  how  foolishly 
wretched  he  then  was  to  think  her  angry  in  earnest.  But 
the  pleasant  memory  of  sorrow  that  was  unreal,  and  had 
passed  away,  cannot  abate  the  abiding  and  still  recurring 
fear.  "  That  fading  in  her  countenance,"  he  says,  "  is 
"  chiefly  caused  by  her  watching  with  me  in  my  fever." 
But,  handsomer  than  ever  to  him  is  the  pale  face ;  and 
nothing  in  all  the  boisterous  passions  of  their  youth,  he 
tells  his  friend,  can  compare  in  depth  and  intensity  with 
the  love  he  feels  in  manhood.  The  poor  bachelor  thinks, 
as  the  other  speaks,  that  now  he  shall  never  know  it. 
"  Her  face,"  continues  the  husband  more  calmly,  "  is  to 
"  me  much  more  beautiful  than  when  I  first  saw  it ;  there 
"  is  no  decay  in  any  feature,  which  I  cannot  trace  from 
'*  the  very  instant  it  was  occasioned  by  some  anxious  con- 
"  cern  for  my  welfare  and  interests."  With  which 
thought,  the  tide  of  his  sorrow  comes  again  upon  him ; 
and  he  describes  his  sinking  heart  as  he  hears  the  children 
play  in  the  next  room,  and  thinks  what  the  poor  things 
shall  do  when  she  is  gone.  Whereupon  she  re-enters  ; 
and  he  brightens  again  at  her  cheerful  face;  and  she 
knows  what  he  has  been  talking  of,  and  ralHes  him,  and 
means  to  have  Mr.  Bickerstaff  for  her  second  husband 
unless  this  first  will  take  greater  care  of  himself;  and 
finally  gets  Mr.  Bickerstaff  to  promise  to  take  her  again 


Sleelc\~\  AN    ENGLISH   DOMESTIC   INTERIOR.  191 

to  the  playhouse,  in  memory  of  his  having  followed  her 
one  night  from  the  playhonse. 

The  children  then  reappear  to  complete  a  domestic 
interior,  which,  at  a  time  when  wit  had  no  higher  employ- 
ment than  to  laugh  at  the  affections  and  moralities  of 
home,  could  have  arisen  only  to  a  fancy  as  pure  as  the 
heart  that  prompted  it  was  loving  and  true.  The  noisiest 
among  them  is  Mr.  Bickerstaff's  godson,  Dick,  in  whose 
conversation,  however,  though  his  drum  is  a  Httle  in  the 
way,  this  nice  gradation  of  incredulity  appears,  that,  hav- 
ing got  into  the  lives  and  adventures  of  Guy  of  Warwick, 
the  Seven  Champions,  and  other  historians  of  that  age, 
he  shakes  his  head  at  the  improbability  of  ^sop's  Fables. 
But  the  mother  becomes  a  little  jealous  of  the  godson 
carrying  off  too  much  attention ;  and  she  will  have  her 
friend  admire  little  Mrs.  Betty's  accompKshments,  which 
accordingly  are  described ;  and  so  the  conversation  goes 
on  till  late,  when  Mr.  Bickerstaff  leaves  the  cordial  fire- 
side, considering  the  different  conditions  of  a  married  Kfe 
and  the  life  of  a  bachelor,  and  goes  home  in  a  pensive 
mood  to  his  maid,  his  dog,  and  his  cat,  who  only  can 
be  the  better  or  the  worse  for  what  happens  to  him. 

But  the  little  story  is  only  half  told.  Having  for  its 
design  to  show  that  the  pleasures  of  married  life  are  too 
little  regarded,  that  thousands  have  them  and  do  not 
enjoy  them,  and  that  it  is  therefore  a  kind  and  good 
office  to  acquaint  such  people  with  their  own  happiness, 
he  with  it  connects  the  solemn  warning  to  be  drawn  from 
its  fleeting  tenure,  and  the  Limited  duration  of  all  enjoy- 
ment on  earth. 

Two  mouths  have  elapsed,  it  is  the  last  day  of  the  year, 
and  Mr.  Bickerstaff  is  walking  about  his  room  very  cheer- 
fully, when  a  coach  stops  at  his  door,  a  lad  of  fifteen 
alights,  and  he  perceives  the  eldest  son  of  his  school- 
fellow. The  pleasant  thought  has  occurred  to  him  that 
the  father  was  just  such  a  stripling  at  the  time  of  their 
first  knowledge  of  each  other,  when  the  boy  enters,  takes 
his  hand,  and  bursts  into  tears.  His  thought  at  the 
moment  is  with  his  friend,   and  with  sudden  concern  he 

inquires  for  him.     The  reply,  "  My  mother ,"  and 

the  tears  that  choke  further  utterance,  tell  Mr.  Bickerstaff 
all.     His  friend's  worst  forebodings  have  come  suddenly 


193  A  DEATH-BED  SCENE.        \_Sir  PJchard 

true.  He  hurries  to  the  house;  meets  the  celebrated 
divine,  Dr.  Smallridge,  just  quitting  it ;  and,  by  the  sup- 
pressed grief  of  the  mourners  as  he  enters,  knows  what 
hope  and  consolation  that  sacred  teaching  has  left.  But 
the  husband,  at  sight  of  him,  cannot  but  turn  a\A'ay  his 
face  and  weep  again ;  and  the  little  family  of  children 
renew  the  expressions  of  their  sorrow,  according  to  their 
several  ages  and  degrees  of  understanding.  The  eldest 
daughter,  in  tears,  is  busied  in  attendance  upon  her 
mother ;  others  are  kneeling  about  the  bedside ;  "  and 
*'  what  troubled  me  most  was  to  see  a  little  boy,  who  was 
"  too  young  to  know  the  reason,  weeping  only  because  his 
*'  sisters  did.''  In  the  room,  there  is  only  one  person 
unmoved ;  and  as  he  approaches  the  bed  she  says  in  a 
low  broken  voice,  "  This  is  kindly  done.  Take  care  of 
"  your  friend — do  not  go  from  him  !  '^  She  has  taken 
leave  of  them  all,  and  the  end  is  come.  "  My  heart  was 
*'  torn  in  pieces  to  see  the  husband  on  one  side  suppress- 
"  ing  and  keeping  down  the  swellings  of  his  grief,  for 
"  fear  of  disturbing  her  in  her  last  moments ;  and  the 
"  wife,  even  at  that  time,  concealing  the  pains  she 
*'  endured,  for  fear  of  increasing  his  affliction.  She  kept 
"  her  eyes  upon  him  for  some  moments  after  she  grew 
"  speechless,  and  soon  after  closed  them  for  ever.  In  the 
*^  moment  of  her  departure,  my  friend,  who  had  thus  far 
"  commanded  himself,  gave  a  deep  groan,  and  fell  into  a 
*'  swoon  by  her  bedside.''  The  few  calm  grave  sentences 
that  follow  this  description  are  known  to  have  been 
written  by  Addison.  It  would  seem  as  though  Steele 
felt  himself  unable  to  proceed,  and  his  friend  had  taken 
the  pen  from  his  trembling  hand. 

Need  we  indicate  other  stories,  told  yet  more  briefly, 
more  in  the  manner  of  direct  relations,  and  all  of  them 
pathetic  in  the  extreme  ?  Inkle  and  Yarico,  which  has 
filled  with  tears  so  many  eyes,  and  the  story  of  Alexander 
Selkirk,  which  suggested  De  Foe's  wonderful  romance, 
belong  to  Steele's  writings  in  the  Spectator ;  but,  in  the 
Tatler,  we  have  Valentine  and  Unnion  (No.  5),  the  Fire  at 
the  Theatre  (No.  94),  the  domestic  tragedy  of  Eustace 
(No.  172),  the  Shipwreck  and  the  Wedding  Day  (both 
contained  in  No.  82),  and  the  Dream  (No.  117).  All  these 
tales  have  an  artless,  unpretending  simplicity,  and  a  charm 


Sleek. '\  PERFECT    STORIES    BRIEFLY   TOLD.  lUS 

quite  unpremeditated,  but  which,  is  yet  combined  with  a 
reality  and  intensity  of  pathos,  affecting  to  a  degree  that 
the  equally  brief  narrations  of  any  other  writer  have  never, 
in  our  judgment,  equalled.  Of  the  Dream  in  especial  the 
contrivance  is  so  inimitable,  and  the  moral  so  impressive, 
that  within  the  same  compass  we  know  of  nothing  at  all 
approaching  to  its  effect.  A  lover  and  his  mistress  are 
toying  and  trifling  together  in  a  summer  evening  on  Dover- 
cHff ;  she  snatches  a  copy  of  verses  from  his  hand  and  runs 
before  him  ;  he  is  eagerly  following,  when  he  beholds  on 
a  sudden  the  ground  sink  under  her,  and  she  is  dashed 
down  the  height.  "  I  said  to  myself,  it  is  not  in  the 
"  power  of  Heaven  to  relieve  me !  when  I  awaked, 
"  equally  transported  and  astonished  to  see  myself 
"  drawn  out  of  an  affliction  which,  the  very  moment 
"  before,  appeared  to  me  altogether  inextricable." 
This  has  been  given  to  Addison,  but  it  is  certainly 
Steele's. 

It  will  be  consonant  with  the  emotion  suggested  by  it 
to  pass,  for  our  next  example,  to  what  is  said  of  untimely 
deaths  in  No.  181,  one  of  the  most  tender  and  beautiful 
essays  that  the  Tatler  contains.  Such  deaths,  says  Steele, 
we  are  most  apt  to  lament,  so  little  are  we  able  to  make  it 
indifferent  when  a  thing  happens,  though  we  know  it 

Cmust  happen.  "  Thus  we  groan  under  life,  and  bewail 
"  those  who  are  relieved  from  it.''  And  especially  he 
applies  this  to  his  recollection  of  the  many  gallant,  gay, 
and  agreeable  spirits  lost  in  war,  where  yet,  he  finely  adds, 
a  We  gather  relief  enough  from  their  own  contempt  of 
"  death,  to  make  that  no  evil  which  was  approached 
"  with  so  much  cheerfulness,  and  attended  with  so  much 
"  honour."  He  then  relates  his  saddest  experience ; 
recalling,  in  a  few  short  sentences  of  great  deHcacy,  the 
beauty,  innocence,  and  untimely  death  of  the  girl  he  had 
first  loved.  "  The  beauteous  virgin  !  how  ignorantly  did 
"  she  charm,  how  carelessly  excel !  O  Death  !  thou  hast 
"  right  to  the  bold,  to  the  ambitious,  to  the  high,  and  to 
"  the  haughty ;  but,  why  this  cruelty  to  the  humble,  to 
"the  meek,  to  the  undiscerning,  to  the  thoughtless? 
"  Nor  age,  nor  business,  nor  distress,  can  erase  the  dear 
''  image  from  my  imagination.  In  the  same  week,  I  saw 
"  her  dressed  for  a  ball,  and  in  the  shroud.     How  ill  did 


194  IDEAL    OF   A   GENTLEMAN.  [Sir  Rickard 

"  the  liabit  of  death  become  the  pretty  trifler.     I  still 

"  behold  the  smiling  earth '' 

Another  treatment  of  the  same  grave  theme  is  in  the 
noble  character  he  draws  of  Addison,  under  the  name  of 
Ignotus.    What  chiefly  makes  his  friend  become  this  life 
so  perfectly,  he  says,  is  his  firm  and  unshaken  expectation 
of  another ;  and  he  lays  it  down  as  the  only  solid  reason 
for  doing  all  things  well,  that  a  man  should  consider  his 
present  being  as  an  uncertain  one,  and  think  to  reap  an 
advantage  by  its  discontinuance.    Such  a  one,  Steele  con- 
tinues, does  not  behold  his  existence  as  a  short,  transient, 
perplexing  state,  made  up  of  trifling  pleasures,  and  great 
anxieties ;  but  he  sees  it  in  quite  another  light :  his  griefs 
are  momentary,  and  his  joys  immortal.     Eeflection  upon 
death  is  not  a  gloomy  and  sad  thought  of  resigning  every- 
thing that  he  delights  in,  but  it  is  a  short  night  followed 
by  an  endless  day.    From  all  which,  and  from  his  friend's 
ever  easy  and  delightful  manners,  he  draws  the  conclusion 
that  "  to  be  a  fine  gentleman  is  to  be  a  generous  and  a 
"  brave  man."     To  the  same  conclusion,  too,  he  brings 
another  thoroughly  characteristic  paper  in  JSTo.  246.     It 
is  a  wise  essay  on  the  toleration  of  one  another's  faults, 
pointing  out  how  faintly  any  excellence  is  received,  and 
how  unmercifully  every  imperfection  is  exposed:  from 
which  it  occurs  to  him  to  suggest,  that  we  should  all  be 
more  considerate  to  each  other,  and  society  a  thousand 
times  more  easy,  if  we  could  better  familiarise  ourselves 
to  the  idea  of  mortality ;  if  we  could  bring  ourselves  to 
the  habit  of  seeing  that  we  are  strangers  here,  and  that 
it  is  unreasonable  to  expect  we  should  have  anything 
about  us  as  well  as  at  our  own  home.     All  faults,  he 
thinks,  might  then  be  reduced  into  those  which  proceed 
from  malice  or  dishonesty ;  it  would  quite  change  our 
manner  of  beholding  one  another  ;  nothing  that  was  not 
below  a  man's  nature  would  be  below  his  character  ;  the 
arts  of  this  life  would  be  proper  advances  towards  the 
next ;  and  a  very  good  man  would  be  a  very  fine  gentle- 
man.    As  it  is  now,  human  life  is  inverted,  and  we  have 
not  learned  half  the  knowledge  of  this  world  before  we 
are  dropping  into  another.   All  which  Steele  winds  up  by 
saying  that  old  Dick  Reptile,  who  does  not  want  humour, 
when  he  sees  another  old  fellow  at  their  club  touchy  at 


Steele 7^        membeus  of  the  trumpet  club.  195 

being  laughed  at  for  having  fallen  behind  the  mode, 
bawls  in  his  ear,  "  Prithee,  don't  mind  him ;  tell  him 
"  thou  art  mortal." 

Their  club  is  the  Trumpet,  immortalised  in  No.  132  ; 
and,  out  of  the  many  such  societies  that  owed  their  life  to 
Steele's  untiring  invention,  and  that  live  still  by  his  wit, 
we  may  select  this  one  in  especial  for  brief  allusion. 
Its  members  are  smokers  and  old  story-tellers,  rather 
easy  than  shining  companions,  promoting  the  thoughts 
tranquilly  bedward,  and  not  the  less  comfortable  to  Mr. 
Bickers taff  because  he  finds  himself  the  leading  wit 
among  them.  There  is  old  Sir  Jeffrey  Notch,  who  has 
had  misfortunes  in  the  "world,  and  calls  every  thriving 
man  a  pitiful  upstart,  by  no  means  to  the  general  dis- 
satisfaction ;  there  is  Major  Matchlock,  who  served  in  the 
last  civil  wars,  and  every  night  tells  them  of  his  having 
been  knocked  off  his  horse  at  the  rising  of  the  London 
Apprentices,  for  which  he  is  in  great  esteem ;  there  is 
honest  old  Dick  Reptile,  who  says  little  himself,  but  who 
laughs  at  all  the  jokes ;  and  there  is  the  elderly  Bencher 
of  the  Temple,  next  to  Mr.  Bickerstaff  the  wit  of  the 
company,  who  has  by  heart  ten  couplets  of  Hudihras 
which  he  regularly  applies  before  leaving  the  club  of  an 
evening,  and  who,  if  any  modern  wit  or  town  frolic  be 
mentioned,  shakes  his  head  at  the  dulness  of  the  present 
age  and  tells  a  story  of  Jack  Ogle.  As  for  Mr.  Bickerstaff 
himself,  he  is  esteemed  among  them  because  they  see  he . 
is  something  respected  by  others ;  but,  though  they  con- 
cede to  him  a  great  deal  of  learning,  they  credit  him 
mth  small  knowledge  of  the  world,  "  insomuch  that  the 
"  Major  sometimes,  in  the  height  of  his  mihtary  pride, 
"  calls  me  the  philosopher ;  and  Sir  Jeffrey,  no  longer 
"  ago  than  last  night,  upon  a  dispute  what  day  of  the 
"  month  it  was  then  in  Holland,  pulled  his  pipe  out  of 
"  his  mouth,  and  cried,  *  What  does  the  Scholar  say  to 
"'it?" 

Supplementary  to  the  sketch  of  these  social  companions 
is  the  paper  (208)  in  which  Steele,  with  as  intimate 
knowledge  of  nature  as  of  the  world,  describes  the  class 
of  easy  friends  :  men  with  no  shining  quahties,  but  in  a 
certain  degree  above  great  imperfections ;  who  never 
contradict  us  ;  who  gain  upon  us,  not  by  a  fulsome  way 

0  2 


196  ORIGINAL  OF  BEAU  TiBBs.     \_Sir  Richavd 

of  commending  in  broad  terms,  but  by  liking  whatever 
we  propose  to  utter ;  wbo  at  the  same  time  are  ready  to 
beg  our  pardons  and  gainsay  us,  if  we  chance  to  speak  ill 
of  ourselves.  *'  We  gentlemen  of  small  fortunes,''  con- 
tinues Steele  with  amusing  candour,  "  are  extremely 
"  necessitous  in  this  particular.  I  have  indeed  one  who 
"  smokes  with  me  often ;  but  his  parts  are  so  low,  that  all 
"  the  incense  he  does  me  is  to  fill  his  pipe  with  me,  and 
*'  to  be  out  at  just  as  many  whiffs  as  I  take.  This  is  all 
"  the  praise  or  assent  that  he  is  capable  of ;  yet  there  are 
"  more  hours  when  I  would  rather  be  in  his  company, 
"  than  in  that  of  the  brightest  man  I  know."  Which  of 
us  will  take  upon  him  to  say  that  he  has  not  had  some 
such  experience  ? 

But  perhaps  the  most  consummately  drawn  of  all  his 
characters  is  introduced  in  the  essay,  No.  127,  in  which 
he  discourses  of,  and  illustrates  in  its  humbler  varieties, 
that  *'  affection  of  the  mind  called  pride  "  which  appears 
in  such  a  multitude  of  disguises,  every  one  feeling  it  in 
himself,  yet  wondering  to  see  it  in  his  neighbours.  Pur- 
suing it  to  its  detection  and  exposure  under  the  semblance 
of  quite  contrary  habits  and  dispositions,  he  introduces, 
as  the  most  subtle  example  of  it  he  had  ever  known,  a 
person  for  whom  he  had  a  great  respect,  as  being  an  old 
courtier  and  a  friend  of  his  in  his  youth.  And  then  we 
have  a  portrait  of  that  kind  which,  though  produced  by 
a  few  apparently  careless  touches,  never  fades,  never 
ceases  to  charm,  and  is  a  study  for  all  succeeding  times 
and  painters.  "  The  man,"  says  Steele,  "has  but  a  bare 
"  subsistence,  just  enough  to  pay  his  reckoning  with  us 
"  at  the  Trumpet ;  but,  by  having  spent  the  beginning  of 
"  his  life  in  the  hearing  of  great  men  and  persons  of 
'*  power,  he  is  always  promising  to  do  good  offices  and  to 
"  introduce  every  man  he  converses  with  into  the  world. 
"  He  will  desire  one  of  ten  times  his  substance  to  let  him 
"  see  him  sometimes,  and  hints  to  him  that  he  does  not 
"  forget  him.  He  answers  to  matters  of  no  consequence 
"  with  great  circumspection ;  but,  however,  maintains  a 
"  general  civility  in  his  words  and  actions,  and  an  inso- 
"  lent  benevolence  to  all  whom  he  has  to  do  with.  This 
"  he  practises  with  a  grave  tone  and  air  ;  and  though  I 
"  am  his  senior  by  twelve  years,  and  richer  by  forty 


Sleek.l  PROFESSED  WAGS.  197 

"  pounds  per  annum,  lie  had  yesterday  the  impudence  to 
"  commend  me  to  my  face  and  tell  me  *  lie  should  be 
"  *  always  ready  to  encourage  me.'  In  a  word,  he  is  a 
"  very  insignificant  fellow,  but  exceeding  gracious."  If 
there  is  better  observation  or  writing  than  this,  in  either 
Tatler  or  Spectator^  we  should  be  very  glad  to  become 
acquainted  with  it. 

Another  distemper  of  the  mind  is  treated  of  in  No.  227, 
where  he  condemns  the  nil  admirari  as  the  shallowest  of 
doctrines  ;  points  out  the  great  mistake  which  Milton  re- 
presents the  Devil  making,  when  he  can  find  nothing 
even  in  Paradise  to  please  him  ;  and  looks  upon  a  man  as 
afflicted  with  disease,  when  he  cannot  discern  anything  to 
be  agreeable  which  another  is  master  of.  "^V^e  are  to  re- 
member, Steele  shrewdly  says,  that  a  man  cannot  have 
an  idea  of  perfection  in  another  which  he  was  never  sensi- 
ble of  in  himself;  he  is  forced  to  form  his  conceptions  of 
ideas  he  has  not,  by  tbose  which  he  has  ;  and  who  is  there, 
asking  an  envious  man  what  he  thinks  of  "virtue,  need 
feel  surprise  if  he  should  call  it  design,  or  of  good 
nature,  if  he  should  term  it  dullnessE^/lVith  this  we  may 
connect  the  very  perfect  description,  in  No.  184,  of  that 
social  nuisance,  a  professed  wag  ;  which  never  in  its  life 
beheld  a  beautiful  object,  but  sees  always  what  it  does 
see,  in  the  most  low  and  inconsiderable  light  it  can  be 
placed  in.  The  wag's  gaiety,  Steele  adds,  consists  in  a 
certain  professed  ill-breeding,  as  if  it  were  an  excuse  for 
committing  a  fault  that  a  man  knows  he  does  so  ;  but  the 
truth  is,  that  his  mind  is  too  small  for  the  abihty  neces- 
sary to  behold  what  is  amiable  and  worthy  of  approbation, 
and  this  he  attempts  to  hide  by  a  disregard  to  everything 
above  what  he  is  able  to  appreciate.  A  yet  earher  essay, 
bearing  somewhat  upon  the  same  matter,  is  in  No.  92  : 
where,  contrary  to  the  common  notion,  Steele  declares 
his  belief  that  the  love  of  praise  dwells  most  in  great  and 
heroic  spirits  ;  and  that  it  is  those  who  best  deserve  it 
who  have  generally  the  most  exquisite  relish  of  it.  But 
this  also  induces  a  corresponding  sensibility  to  reproach, 
which  is  the  common  weakness  of  a  virtuous  man ;  and 
for  which  the  only  cure  is,  that  they  should  fix  their  re- 
gard exclusively  upon  what  is  strictly  true,  in  relation  to 
their  advantage  as  well  as  diminution.     "  For  if  I  am 


198  LESSONS  FROM  LIFE.         [6*/>  Richavd 

"  pleased  with  commendation  wMch.  I  do  not  deserve,  I 
"  shall  from  the  same  temper  be  concerned  at  scandal  I 
"  do  not  deserve.  But  he  that  can  think  of  false  applause 
"  with  as  much  contempt  as  false  detraction,  will  certainly 
"  he  prepared  for  all  adventures,  and  will  become  all 
"  occasions.''  Let  us  add,  from  an  essay  on  impudence 
in  No.  168,  as  one  of  many  admirable  thoughts  conceived 
in  the  same  noble  spirit,  that  he  notes  it  as  a  mean  want 
of  fortitude  in  a  good  man,  not  to  be  able  to  do  a  virtuous 
action  with  as  much  confidence  as  an  impudent  fellow 
does  an  ill  one. 

For  our  next  examples,  shall  we  turn  to  the  innumer- 
able little  sketches  of  individual  character  by  which  these 
and  other  truths  are  so  abundantly  and  pleasantly  en- 
forced, are  vivified,  and  put  into  action  ?  No  unattainable 
impossible  virtues,  no  abstract  speculative  vices,  occupy 
the  page  of  Steele.  As  promptly  as  his  heart  or  know- 
ledge suggests,  his  imagination  creates ;  his  fancies  crowd, 
in  bodily  form,  into  life ;  everything  with  him  becomes 
actual ;  and  to  all  his  airy  nothings  he  has  given  lasting 
habitation  and  a  name. 

Shall  we  take  a  lesson  against  over-easiness  in  temper 
from  the  crafty  old  cit  in  No.  176,  who,  speaking  of  a 
well-natured  young  fellow  set  up  with  a  good  stock  in 
Lombard-street,  "I  will,"  says  he,  "  lay  no  more  money 
"  in  his  hands,  for  he  never  denied  me  anything  "  ?  Or 
shall  we  introduce  Tom  Spindle  from  No.  47,  who  takes 
to  his  bed  on  hearing  that  the  French  tyrant  won't  sign 
the  treaty  of  peace,  he  having  just  written  a  most  excellent 
poem  on  that  subject  ?  Or,  from  the  proof  in  number  173 
that  by  the  vanity  of  silly  fathers  half  the  only  time  for 
education  is  lost,  shall  we  make  acquaintance  with  the 
Shire-lane  pastrycook  who  has  an  objection  to  take  his 
son  from  his  learning,  but  is  resolved,  as  soon  as  he  has 
a  little  smattering  in  the  Greek,  to  put  him  apprentice  to 
a  soap-boiler  ?*  Or,  shall  we  illustrate  the  discredit  which 

^  This  paper  exposes  with  so  much  in  what  is  taught  to  children  of  the 

force  an  absurdity  still  prevalent  in  middle  class,  by  devoting  so  much  of 

education,  thatitwill  be  worth  while  the  time,  which,  to  fall  in  with  their 

to  subjoin  a  few  passages.     Steele  is  ways  and  prospects  in  life,  should  be 

laughing  at  the  ridiculous  way  of  spent  in  learning  the  useful  arts,  to 

preferring  the  useless  to  the  useful  the    over-cramming   of  Latin    and 


Steele.'] 


MISTAKES   OF    OVER -EDrCATIOX. 


199 


tlie  morals  of  the  stage  tlien  strove  to  cast  upon  marriage, 
and  the  separate  beds,  the  silent  tables,  and  the  solitary 
homes,  which  it  was  the  sole  ambition  of  your  men  of  wit 
and  pleasure  to  contribute  to,  by  presenting,  from  No. 
159,  the  country  squire  who  set  up  for  a  man  of  the  town, 
and  went  home  "  in  the  gaiety  of  his  heart "  to  beat  his 


Greek,  and  those  kind  of  accom- 
plishments wliich  they  only  acquire 
to  forget,  or  to  find  utterly  useless 
in  their  after  career.  It  arises,  he 
says, "  from  the  vanity  of  parents  who 
' '  are  wonderfully  delighted  with  the 
"  thought  of  breeding  their  children 
*'  to  accomplishments,  which  they 
*'  believe  nothing  but  want  of  the 
' '  same  care  in  their  own  fathers 
*'  prevented  themselves  from  being 
'*  masters  of.  Thus  it  is,  that  the 
**  part  of  life  most  fit  for  improve- 
*'  ment  is  generally  employed  in  a 
*'  method  against  the  bent  of  na- 
**  ture  ;  and  a  lad  of  such  parts  as 
"  are  fit  for  an  occupation  where 
"  there  can  be  no  calls  out  of  the 
' '  beaten  path,  is  two  or  three  years 
* '  of  his  time  wholly  taken  up  in 
"  knowing  how  well  Ovid's  mis- 
'*  tress  became  such  a  dress,  how 
"  such  a  nymph  for  her  cruelty 
'*  was  changed  into  such  an  animal, 
"  and  how  it  is  made  generous  in 
'*  ^neas  to  put  Turnus  to  death  : 
'*  gallantries  that  can  no  more  come 
"  within  the  occurrences  of  the  lives 
"  of  ordinary  men,  than  they  can  be 
'*  relished   by   their   imaginations. 

*  *  However,  still  the  humour  goes  on 
*'  from  one  generation  to  another  ; 
"  and  the  pastrycook  here  in  the 
"  lane,  the  other  night,  told  me  he 
"  would  not  yet  take  away  his  son 
' '  from  his  learning,  but  has  re- 
"  solved,  as  soon  as  he  had  a  little 
*'  smattering  in  the  Greek,  to  put 
"  him  apprentice  to  a  soap-boiler. 

*  *  These  wrong  beginnings  determine 
**  our  success  in  the  world  ;  and 
*'  when  our  thoughts  are  originally 
*'  falsely  biassed,  their  agility  and 
*'  force  do  but  carry  us  the  further 
*'  out  of  our  way,  in  proportion  to 
"  our  speed.  We  are  half  way 
*•  our  journey,  when  we  have  got 


'  into  the  right  road.     But  if  all 

*  our  days  were  usefully  employed, 

*  and  we  did  not  set  out  imperti- 
'  nently,  we  should  not  have  so 
'  many  grotesque  professors  in  all 
'  the  arts  of  life  ;  every  man  would 

*  be  in  a  proper  and  becoming  me- 

*  thod  of  distinguishing  or  enter- 
'  taining  himself,  suitably  to  what 
'  nature  designed  him.  As  they  go 
'  on  now,   our  parents  do  not  only 

*  force  us  upon  what  is  against  our 
'  talents,  but  our  teachers  are  also 
'  as  injudicious  in  what  they  put  us 

*  to  learn.  I  have  hardly  ever  since 
'  sufi"ered  so  much  by  the  charms 
'  of  any  beauty,  as  I  did  before  I 
'  had  a  sense  of  passion,  for  not  ap- 
'  prehending  that  the  smile  of  Lalage 
'  was  what  pleased  Horace  ;  and  I 

*  verily  believe,  the  stripes  I  suf- 
'  fered  siboai  iJigito  male  pertinad 
'  have  given  me  that  irreconcilable 

*  aversion  which  I  shall  carry  to 
'  my    grave    against     coquettes." 

After  that  pleasant  biographical 
touch,  Steele  goes  on  to  characterise 
Horace  with  much  wit  and  shrewd- 
ness ;  and,  quoting  what  he  had  heard 
a  great  painter  say  as  to  there  being 
certain  faces  for  certain  painters  as 
well  as  certain  subjects  for  ceiiain 
poets,  he  adds,  "  This  is  as  true  in 
' '  the  choice  of  studies  ;  and  no 
"  one  will  ever  relish  an  author 
**  thoroughly  well  who  woiijd  not 
"  have  been  fit  company  for  that 
*'  author,  had  they  lived  at  the 
' '  same  time.  All  others  are  me- 
**  chanics  in  learning,  and  take  the 
"  sentiments  of  writers  like  waiting- 
"  servants  who  repeat  what  passed 
'*  at  their  master's  table,  but  de- 
"  base  every  thought  and  expres- 
"  sion  for  Avant  of  the  air  with 
**  which  they  were  uttered." 


200  SKETCHES  OF  CHARACTER.    \_Sir  Richavd 

wife  ?  Or  shall  we  profit  by  the  lecture,  read  in  No.  210, 
to  the  very  fine  and  very  censorious  lady  of  quality,  who 
is  for  ever  railing  at  the  vices  of  the  age,  meaning  only 
the  single  vice  she  is  not  guilty  of  herself;  and  whose 
cruelty  to  a  poor  girl,  who,  whatever  imperfections  may 
rest  on  her,  is  in  her  present  behaviour  modest,  sensible, 
pious,  and  discreet,  is  indignantly  rebuked  by  Mr.  Bicker- 
staff  ?  Or  shall  we  pursue  the  same  subject  in  No.  217, 
and,  concerning  the  same  too  numerous  class,  who,  be- 
cause no  one  can  call  them  one  ugly  name,  think  them- 
selves privileged  to  bestow  all  kinds  of  ugly  epithets  upon 
every  body  else,  humbly  conceive  with  Mr.  Bickerstaff 
that  such  ladies  have  a  false  notion  of  a  modest  woman  ; 
and  dare  to  say  that  the  side-boxes  would  supply  better 
wives  than  many  who  pass  upon  the  world  and  them- 
selves for  modest,  and  whose  husbands  know  every  pain 
in  life  with  them  except  jealousy  ?  Or  shall  we  take  a 
different  lesson  from  Jenny  Distaff's  conversation  with 
her  brother  Isaac  in  No.  1 04,  when,  being  asked  the  help 
of  his  magic  to  make  her  always  beautiful  to  her  husband, 
he  shows  her  how  an  inviolable  fidelity,  good  humour, 
and  complacency  of  temper,  may  outlive  all  the  charms 
of  the  prettiest  face,  and  make  the  decays  of  it  invisible  ? 
Or  shall  we  observe,  in  No.  151,  the  unexpected  sources 
of  pride  in  the  two  sisters,  one  of  whom  holds  up  her 
head  higher  than  ordinary  from  having  on  a  pair  of 
striped  garters  ;  or,  in  No.  127,  the  fantastic  forms  of  it 
in  the  cobbler  of  Ludgate-hill,  who,  being  naturally  a 
lover  of  respect,  and  considering  that  his  circumstances 
are  such  that  no  man  living  will  give  it  him,  reverses  the 
laws  of  idolatry  which  require  the  man  to  worship  the 
image,  and  contrives  an  inferior  to  himself  in  the  wooden 
figure  of  a  beau,  which,  hat  in  one  hand  and  in  posture 
of  profound  deference,  holds  out  obsequiously  in  the  other 
what  is  needful  to  its  master's  occasions  ?  Or,  from  what 
is  told  us  in  No.  112  of  the  mischief  done  in  the  world 
from  a  want  of  occupation  for  idle  hours,  shall  we  see 
reason  to  think  an  able  statesman  out  of  business  like  a 
huge  whale  that  will  endeavour  to  overturn  the  ship, 
unless  he  has  an  empty  cask  to  play  with  ;  and  to  wish  with 
Mr.  Bickerstaff,  for  the  good  of  the  nation,  that  many 
famous  politicians  could  but  take  pleasure  in    feeding 


Steele.~\  ox  the  wroxgs  of  authors.  201 

ducks  ?  Or,  finally,  shall  we  turn  to  that  ponderous 
politician  but  small  philosopher,  in  No.  171,  who,  with  a 
very  awful  brow  and  a  countenance  full  of  weight,  pro- 
nounces it  a  great  misfortune  "  that  men  of  letters  seldom 
*'  look  into  the  bottom  of  things.'' 

That  men  of  letters  might  always  look  to  Steele  for 
their  heartiest  champion,  it  would  not  have  been  needful 
to  add,  but  for  a  proof  of  it  in  No.  101  too  characteristic 
not  to  be  mentioned.  As  on  a  former  occasion  we  saw  Addi- 
son, when  the  grief  of  his  friend  seemed  to  break  his  utter  ^ 
ance,  with  a  calm  composure  taking  up  his  theme  simply 
to  moderate  its  pain ;  so,  in  this  paper,  to  which  also  both 
contribute,  and  of  which  the  exquisite  opening  humour 
closes  abruptly  in  generous  indignation,  we  may  see  each, 
according  to  his  different  nature,  moved  by  an  intolerable 
wrong.  Of  the  maltreatment  of  authors,  in  regard  to 
copyright,  both  are  speaking ;  and,  high  above  the  irresist- 
ible laugh  which  Addison  would  raise  against  a  law  that 
makes  only  rogues  and  pirates  prosperous,  rings  out  the 
clear  and  manly  claim  of  Steele  to  be  allowed  to  speak  in 
the  cause  of  learning  itself,  and  to  lament  that  a  liberal 
education  should  be  the  only  one  which  a  pohte  nation, 
makes  unprofitable,  and  that  the  only  man  who  cannot  get 
protection  from  his  country  should  be  he  that  best  deserves 
it.  According  to  the  ordinary  rules  of  computation,  he 
says,  the  greater  the  adventure,  the  greater  should  be  the 
profit  of  those  who  succeed :  yet  he  implores  his  countrymen 
to  consider,  how  expensive  is  the  voyage  which  is  under- 
taken in  the  search  of  knowledge ;  how  few  there  are  who 
gather  in  any  considerable  merchandise ;  how  fewer  still 
are  those  able  to  turn  what  they  have  so  gained  into  profit  : 
and  then  he  asks  the  question,  which  it  is  the  disgrace  of 
two  subsequent  centuries  to  have  left  still  imperfectly 
answered,  whether  it  is  not  "  hard,  indeed,  that  the  very 
"  small  number  who  are  distinguished  with  abilities  to 
"  know  how  to  vend  their  wares,  and  have  the  good  for- 
"  tune  to  bring  them  into  port,  should  sufi'er  plunder 
"  by  privateers  under  the  very  cannon  that  should  protect 
"them?'' 

Nor  less  characteristic  of  that  generous  nature  which 
reserved  its  sympathies  for  no  single  class,  but  could  enter 
familiarly  into  all  conditions,  and  to  which  nothing  could 


202         SOLDIERS  UNDER  MARLBOROUGH.  \_Sir  Richard 

be  foreign  ttat  concerned  humanity,  is  that  paper,  No.  87, 
which  in  the  present  crisis  of  our  history  ^  should  not  be 
the  least  interesting  to  us  of  all  the  Tatlers.  Those,  too, 
were  days  of  war  and  foreign  siege ;  and  while  a  chorus 
of  continual  praise  was  going  up  to  Marlborough  and 
Eugene,  Steele  bethought  him  to  single  out,  as  not  less 
worthy  of  celebration,  the  courage  and  feeling  of  the 
private  soldier.  He  sets  before  us,  therefore,  as  dropped 
by  his  servant  in  dressing  him,  a  supposed  letter  from 
one  Serjeant  Hall  to  Serjeant  Cabe,  "in  the  Coldstream 
*'  regiment  of  Foot  Guards,  at  the  Red  Lettice  in  the 
"  Butcher-row,  near  Temple-bar,"  by  which  he  would 
show  us  the  picture  of  what  he  calls  the  very  bravest  sort 
of  men,  "a  man  of  great  courage  and  small  hopes,"  and  would 
exemplify  the  dignity  of  human  nature  in  all  states  of  life. 
The  letter  itself  is  what  we  have  lately  seen,  in  a  hundred 
forms,  from  the  humble  heroes  of  Alma  and  Inkermann  ; 
it  is  just  such  an  honest  masterpiece,  as  any  of  those  which 
have  made  hearts  throb  and  eyes  glisten  lately ;  and,  that 
the  good  Serjeant  himself  might  have  written  it,  will 
sufficiently  appear  from  what  Steele  proceeds  pleasantly 
to  say  of  it.  "  This  is,  said  I,  truly  a  letter,  and  an 
"  honest  representation  of  that  cheerful  heart  which 
*'  accompanies  the  poor  soldier  in  his  warfare.  Is  not 
*'  there,  in  this,  all  the  topic  of  submitting  to  our  destiny 
*'  as  well  discussed  as  if  a  greater  man  had  been  placed, 
"  like  Brutus  in  his  tent  at  midnight,  reflecting  on  all  the 
"  occurrences  of  past  life,  and  saying  fine  things  on  Being 
"  itself  ?  What  Serjeant  Hall  knows  of  the  matter  is,  that 
*'  he  wishes  there  had  not  been  so  many  killed ;  and  he  had 
"  himself  a  very  bad  shot  in  the  head  ;  and  should  recover 
*'  if  it  pleased  God.  But,  be  that  as  it  will,  he  takes  care, 
*'  like  a  man  of  honour  as  he  certainly  is,  to  let  the  widow 
"  Stevenson  know  that  he  had  seven  and  three-pence  for 
"  her,  and  that,  if  he  lives,  he  is  sure  he  shall  go  into 
"  garrison  at  last.  I  doubt  not  but  all  the  good  company 
"  at  the  Red  Lettice  drank  his  health  with  as  much  real 
"  esteem  as  we  do  of  any  of  our  friends."  More  thought- 
fully Steele  adds,  with  the  warmth  and  wisdom  of  his 
generous  nature  :  "  If  we  consider  the  heap  of  an  army, 

^  This  Essay  was  written  during  the  War  with  Russia. 


Steele.\  personal  experiences.  203 

"  utterly  out  of  all  prospect  of  rising  and  preferment,  as 
"  they  certainly  are,  and  such  great  things  executed  by 
"  them,  it  is  hard  to  account  for  the  motive  of  their  gal- 
"  lantry ;  but  to  me,  who  know  very  well  this  part  of 
*'  mankind,  I  take  it  to  proceed  from  the  same,  if  not 
"  from  a  nobler  impulse,  than  that  of  gentlemen  and 
"  officers.  They  have  the  same  taste  of  being  acceptable 
"  to  their  friends ;  and  they  go  through  the  difficulties  of 
"  that  profession  by  the  same  irresistible  charm  of  fellow- 
"  ship,  and  the  communication  of  joys  and  sorrows,  which 
"  quickens  the  relish  of  pleasure,  and  abates  the  anguish 
*'  of  pain.  Add  to  this,  that  they  have  the  same  regard 
"  to  fame,  though  they  do  not  expect  so  great  a  share  as 
"  men  above  them  hope  for ;  but  I  will  engage  Serjeant 
"  Hall  would  die  ten  thousand  deaths,  rather  than  a  word 
**  should  be  spoken,  at  the  Red  Lettice  or  any  part  of  the 
"  Butcher-row,  in  prejudice  to  his  courage  or  honesty." 

There  spoke  a  personal  experience,  as  well  as  a  kind 
heart  and  a  just  philosophy.  Steele  knew  very  wtII,  as 
he  says,  that  part  of  mankind,  for  in  the  army  he  had  him- 
self mixed  with  them.  Nor  will  it  be  inappropriate  to 
interpose,  before  we  pass  to  our  brief  sketch  of  his  actual 
career,  allusion  to  two  more  papers  in  which  actual  ex- 
periences are  written,  and  where  the  charm  of  his  natural 
style  is  carried  to  exquisite  perfection. 

He  describes  himself,  in  No.  263,  going  to  call  on  a 
country  friend  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  finding 
him  gone  to  bed.  Next  morning  he  goes  at  eleven,  and 
finds  him  sat  down  to  dinner.  This  leads  Steele  to  a 
whimsical  description  of  modern  hours,  which  he  com- 
pares with  the  unchanging  habits  of  other  creatures. 
The  lark,  he  observes,  rises  as  early  as  he  did  formerly, 
and  the  cock  begins  to  crow  at  his  usual  hour :  whereas, 
in  his  own  memory,  the  dinner  has  crept  by  degrees  from 
twelve  o'clock  to  three,  so  that  where  it  will  fix,  nobody 
knows ;  and  as  for  supper,  it  is  so  encroached  upon  that 
it  has  been  even  banished  from  many  families.  Yet  how 
many  midnight  hours  will  it  take  the  libertine,  or  the 
woman  of  fashion,  adequately  to  replace  the  loss  of  a  single 
hour  of  morning !  "  When  I  find  myself  awakened  into 
"  being  and  perceive  my  life  renewed  within  me,  and  at 
"  the  same  time  see  the  whole  face  of  nature  recovered 


204  MORXiNG  AND  NIGHT.         [Sit'  RicJiard 

"  out  of  the  dark  uncomfortable  state  in  which,  it  lay  for 
"  several  hours,  my  heart  overflows  with  such  secret  sen- 
"  timents  of  joy  and  gratitude  as  are  a  kind  of  implicit 
"  praise  to  the  great  Author  of  nature.  The  mind,  in 
"  these  early  seasons  of  the  day,  is  so  refreshed  in  all 
"  her  faculties,  and  borne  up  with  such  new  supplies  of 
"  animal  spirits,  that  she  finds  herself  in  a  state  of  youth ; 
"  above  all,  when  the  breath  of  flowers  entertains  her,  the 
^'  melody  of  birds,  the  dews  that  hang  upon  the  plants, 
"  and  all  those  other  sweets  of  nature  that  are  peculiar 
"  to  the  morning.  But,  who  can  have  this  relish  of  being, 
"  this  exquisite  taste  of  life,  who  does  not  come  into  the 
"  world  before  it  is  in  all  its  noise  and  hurry  ?  who  loses 
"  the  rising  of  the  sun,  the  still  hours  of  the  day ;  and, 
"  immediately  upon  his  first  getting  up,  plunges  into  the 
"  ordinary  cares  or  follies  of  the  world.** 

Not  to  cheerfulness,  however,  but  to  sorrow,  and  not 
to  the  still  hours  of  day,  but  to  those  of  night,  the  last 
paper  invites  us,  with  which  we  close  our  appeal  from 
Mr.  Macaulay's  judgment. 

It  is  a  paper  of  sadness  and  self-examination.'  Con- 
scious of  having  been  surrendering  too  much  time  to  plea- 
sure, he  desires  to  correct  the  present  by  recollections  of  the 
past,  to  cast  back  his  thoughts  on  those  who  had  been 
dear  and  agreeable  to  him,  to  ponder  step  by  step  on  the 
life  that  was  gone,  and  to  revive  old  places  of  grief  in  his 
memory.  "  When  we  wind  up  a  clock  that  is  out  of  order, 
"  to  make  it  go  well  for  the  future,  we  do  not  immediately 
"  set  the  hand  to  the  present  instant,  but  we  make  it 
"  strike  the  round  of  all  its  hours,  before  it  can  recover 
"  the  regularity  of  its  time.  Such,  thought  I,  shall  be 
"  my  method  this  evening  ;  which  I  dedicate  to  such  in 
"  another  life,  as  I  much  delighted  in  when  living."  But 
we  can  only  take,  from  this  charming  and  most  touching 
retrospect,  his  earliest  recollection  and  his  earliest  grief. 
"  The  first  sense  of  sorrow  I  ever  knew  was  upon  the 
"  death  of  my  father,  at  which  time  I  was  not  quite  five 
"  years  of  age;  but  was  rather  amazed  at  what  all  the 
"  house  meant,  than  possessed  with  a  real  understanding 
"  why  nobody  was  willing  to  play  with  me.     I  remember 

1  TatUr,  No.  181. 


Steele.^  a  child's  earliest  guief.  -       205 

"  I  went  into  the  room  where  Ms  body  lay,  and  my 
"  mother  sat  weeping  alone  by  it.  I  haci  my  battledore 
"  in  my  hand,  and  fell  a  beating  the  coifin,  and  calling 
*'  Papa  ;  for,  I  know  not  how,  I  had  some  slight  idea  that 
"  he  was  locked  up  there.  My  mother  catched  me  in  her 
"  arms,  and,  transported  beyond  all  patience  of  the  silent 
^'  grief  she  was  before  in,  she  almost  smothered  me  in  her 
"  embraces,  and  told  me  in  a  flood  of  tears,  *  Papa  could 
"  *  not  hear  me,  and  would  play  with  me  no  more,  for 
"  '  they  were  going  to  put  him  under  ground,  whence  he 
"  '  could  never  come  to  us  again.'  She  was  a  very  beau- 
"  tiful  woman,  of  a  noble  spirit,  and  there  was  a  dignity 
"  in  her  grief  amidst  all  the  wildness  of  her  transport 
"  which,  methought,  struck  me  with  an  instinct  of  sorrow, 
"  that,  before  I  was  sensible  of  what  it  was  to  grieve, 
"  seized  my  very  soul,  and  has  made  pity  the  weakness 
"  of  my  heart  ever  since."  And  so,  strengthened  by  love, 
if  weakened  by  pity,  began  the  life  of  Richard  Steele. 


/Y  His  family  on  the  father's  side  were  English,  but  he 
had  an  Irish  mother ;  and  in  Dublin,  where  his  father 
held  the  office  of  secretary  to  the  first  Duke  of  Ormond, 
he  was  born  in  1675.  The  Duke  was  one  of  the  governors 
of  Charter-house ;  and  there  Richard  Steele  was  placed, 
as  soon  as  he  could  be  entered  after  his  father's  death. 
He  remained  till  he  was  seventeen ;  and  from  his  ready 
scholarship  of  after  years,  as  well  as  from  the  kind  ex- 
pressions long  interchanged  between  him  and  its  old  head- 
master. Dr.  Ellis,  he  may  be  assumed  to  have  passed 
fairly  through  the  school.  .Of  his  positive  acquisitions 
only  one  is  known,  but  it  is  by  far  the  most  important. 
Not  the  glory  of  his  having  carried  off  every  prize  and 
exhibition  attainable,  if  such  had  been  his,  would  have 
interested  us  half  so  much  as  the  fact,  that  here  began 
his  friendship  with  Joseph  Addison./^' 

The  son  of  the  Dean  of  Lichfield  was  three  years  older 
than  Steele,  who  was  a  lad  of  only  twelve,  when,  at  the 
age  of  fifteen,  Addison  went  up  to  Oxford.  Three  years 
at  that  age  are  the  measure  of  submission  or  authority ; 
and,  through  life,  Steele  never  lost  the  habit  of  looking  up 


206  •  SCHOOL   D^YS   AND    COLLEGE   DAYS.    [StT  RtcJiard 

at  his  friend,  rile  went  himself  to  Oxford  in  1692,  at 
the  head  of  that  year's  post-masters  for  Merton  ;  hut  his 
intercourse  with  the  scholar  of  Magdalen  had  not  ceased 
in  the  interval.  Pleasant  traces  are  left  for  us  which 
connect  the  little  fatherless  lad  with  visitings  to  Addison's 
father,  who  loved  him^-^^  Like  one  of  his  own  children  he 
loved  me  !  exclaimed  'Steele,  towards  the  close  of  his  life. 
Those  children,  too,  apart  from  his  famous  schoolfellow, 
he  thanks  for  their  affection  to  him ;  and  among  the  pos- 
sessions of  his  youth  retained  until  death,  was  a  letter  in 
the  handwriting  of  the  good  old  Dean,  giving  "his 
"  blessing  on  the  friendship  between  his  son  and  me." 
The  little  black-eyed  dusky-faced  lad  had  made  himself 
popular  at  the  Lichfield  deanery ;  and  he  brought  away 
from  it,  we  will  not  doubt,  that  first  ineffaceable  impression 
which  remained  alike  through  the^weakness  and  the 
strength  of  his  future  years,  tha^s^ligion  was  a  part 
of  goodness,  and  that  cheerfulness  should  be  inseparable 
from  piet^^^ 

Entered  of  Merton  in  1692,  his  college  career  is  soon 
told.  Having  passed  three  years  in  a  study  of  which  he 
showed  afterwards  good  use,  and  in  a  companionship 
which  confirmed  not  the  least  memorable  of  friendships, 
he  left  Oxford  with  the  love  of  "  the  whole  society,"  '  but 
without  a  degree,  after  writing  a  comedy  which  was  per- 
haps as  strong  a  recommendation  to  the  one  as  a  disquali- 
fication for  the  other.  He  burnt  that  comedy,  however, 
on  a  friend  telling  him  it  was  not  worth  keeping.  Quick, 
inventive,  and  ardent ;  easy  and  sweet  in  temper,  social 
and  communicative  in  tastes ;  with  eager  impulses  and 
warm  affections,  but  yet  forming  his  opinions  for  himself, 
and  giving  them  shape  and  efiicacy  without  regard  to  con- 
sequences ;  the  Dick  Steele  of  Merton,  was  the  same  Mr. 
Steele  and  Sir  Richard  of  Hampton  and  Bloomsbury,  to 
whose  maturer  philosophy  many  charming  illustrations 
have  attracted  us  in  the  foregoing  pages.  Having  desired 
his  friend's  advice  about  his  comedy,  he  had  too  much 
sincerity  and  too  little  pride  not  at  once  to  act  upon  it ; 
but  he  was  also  too  impatient  not  to  ask  himself  after- 
wards, If  he  was  to  fail  as  a  wit  and  a  writer,  in  what 

*  BiograpTiia  Britannica,  vi.  3823. 


Steele^  '  in  the  horse  guards.  207 

other  direction  lay  tlie  chances  of  success  ? -Already  a 
hot  politician,  and  entering  with  all  his  heart  into  the 
struggle  of  which  the  greatest  champion  now  sat  on  the 
English  throne,  might  he  not  at  any  rate,  on  his  hero's 
behalf,  throw  a  sword  if  not  a  pen  into  the  scale  ?  He 
would  be  a  soldie^  He  would,  as  he  says,  plant  himself 
behind  King  William  the  Third  against  Louis  the  Four- 
teenth. But  here  he  was  met  by  determined  opposition ; 
and  a  rich  relative  of  his  mother,  who  had  named  him  heir 
to  a  large  estate  in  Wexford,  threatened  to  disinherit  him 
if  he  took  that  course.  He  took  it,  and  was  disinherited ; 
giving  the  express  reason,  many  years  later,  that,  when 
he  so  cocked  his  hat,  put  on  a  broad  sword,  jack -boots, 
and  shoulder-belt,  and  mounted  a  war-horse,  under  the 
unhappy  Duke  of  Ormond's  command,  he  teas  not  ac- 
quainted with  his  own  parts,  and  did  not  know,  what  he 
had  since  discovered,  that  he  could  handle  a  pen  more 
effectively  than  a  sword.'  ^^^hat  do  we  see,  in  all  this, 
but  an  earlier  form  of  the  philosophy  of  the  TatJer,  that 
you  must  he  the  thing  you  would  seem  to  be,  and  in  some 
form  manage  to  do  what  you  think  it  right  should  be 
done^iX' 

Baffled  in  his  hope  to  obtain  a  commission,  Steele 
entered  the  army  as  a  private  in  the  Horse  Guards,  pre- 
ferring, as  he  characteristically  expresses  it,  the  state  of 
his  mind  to  that  of  his  fortune.  Soon,  however,  the 
qualities  which  made  him  the  delight  of  his  comrades, 
obtained  him  a  cornetcy  in  the  regiment ;  and  not  long 
after,  through  the  interest  of  its  colonel.  Lord  Cutts,  to 
whom  he  had  acted  as  private  secretary,  he  got  a  company 
in  Lord  Lucas's  fusiliers,  and  became  Captain  Steele. 
Then  began  the  experiences  and  temptations  he  has  him- 
self described.  He  found  it,  he  says,  a  way  of  life  exposed 
to  much  irregularity ;  and,  being  thoroughly  convinced  of 
many  things,  of  which  he  often  repented  and  which  he 
more  often  repeated,  he  writ,  for  lus  own  private  use,  a 
little  book  called  the  Christian  Hero?  Nevertheless,  this 
little  book  is  not  exactly  what  the  good  Dr.  Drake,  and 
many  before  him  and  since,  appear  to  have  thought  it. 
You  would  suppose,  from  what  is  said  of  it,  that  it  was 

1  The  Theatre^  No.  xi.  2  Apology,  p.  296. 


208 


THE  CHRISTIAN  HERO.       \_Sir  Richavd 


"  a  valuable  little  manual "  of  religious  exercises  for  use 
in  "  the  intervals  snatclied  from  the  orgies  of  voluptuous- 
"  ness."  But  it  is  by  no  means  this,  nor  anything  else 
that  would  amount  to  such  sheer  fooling  and  face-making. 
Steele  had  too  humble  and  pious  a  faith  in  religion  to 
expose  it  to  ridicule  from  the  unscrupulous  companions 
he  lived  with.  How  large  and  longing  is  the  mind  of 
man,  compared  with  the  shortness  of  his  life  and  the 
frailty  of  his  desires,  he  knew ;  and,  that  his  own  thoughts 
were  better  than  his  practice,  it  was  no  discredit  to  him 
also  to  know.  But  it  was  not  to  set  up  the  one  either  as 
a  cloak  or  a  contrast  to  the  other,  that  he  wrote  the  Chris- 
tian Hero.  It  was  not  a  book  of  either  texts  or  prayers. 
There  was  nothing  in  it  that  a  man  conscious  of  all  infir- 
mities might  not  write ;  but  there  was  also  that  in  it 
which  must  have  made  its  writer  more  conscious  of  his 
powers  than  he  had  been  till  then,  and  which  influenced 
his  future  perhaps  more  than  any  one  has  supposed.' 


1  Perhaps  Steele  has  no  where  so 

beautifully  expressed  the  spirit  in 

which  he  wrote  this  book,  than  by 

that  fine  paper   (No.    27)   of    the 

Spectator,  in  which  he  says :   * '  There 

'  is  scarce  a  thinking  man  in  the 

'  world,   who   is   involved   in   the 

'  business  of  it,  but  lives  under  a 

*  secret  impatience  of  the  hurry 
'  and  fatigue  he  suffers,  and  has 

*  formed  a  resolution  to  fix  himself, 

*  one  time  or  another,  in  such  a 
'  state  as  is  suitable  to  the  end  of 
'  his  being.  You  hear  men  every 
'  day  in  conversation  profess  that 
'  all  the  honour,  power,  and  riches 

*  which  they  propose  to  themselves, 
'  cannot  give  satisfaction  enough  to 
'  reward  them  for  half  the  anxiety 
'  they  undergo  in  the  pursuit  or 

*  possession  of  them.  While  men 
'  are  in  this  temper  (which  hap- 

*  pens  very  frequently),  how  in- 
'  consistent   are  they  with  them- 

*  selves  !  They  are  wearied  with 
'  the  toil  they  bear,  but  cannot 
'  find  in  their  hearts  to  relinquish 

*  it ;  retirement  is  what  they  want, 
'  but  they  cannot  betake  them- 
'  selves  to  it ;  while  they  pant  after 


shade  and  covert,  they  still  affect 
to  appear  in  the  most  glittering 
scenes  of  life  :  but  sure  this  is 
only  just  as  reasonable,  as  if  a 
man  should  call  for  more  lights 
when  he  has  a  mind  to  go  to  sleep . 
*'  Since,  then,  it  is  certain  that 
our  own  hearts  deceive  us  in 
the  love  of  the  world,  and  that 
we  cannot  command  ourselves 
enough  to  resign  though  we  every 
day  wish  ourselves  disengaged 
from  its  allurements,  let  us  not 
stand  upon  a  formal  taking  of 
leave,  but  wean  ourselves  from 
these,  while  we  are  in  the  midst 
of  them. 

"It  is  certainly  the  general  in- 
tention of  the  greater  part  of 
mankind  to  accomplish  this  work, 
and  live  according  to  their  own 
approbation,  as  soon  as  they  pos- 
sibly can  ;  but  since  the  duration 
of  life  is  so  uncertain,  and  that 
this  has  been  a  common  topic  of 
discourse  ever  since  there  was 
such  a  thing  as  life  itself,  how  is 
it  possible  that  we  should  defer  a 
moment  the  beginning  to  live  ac- 
coiduig  to  the  rules  of  reason  ? 


Steele.']  belief  and  uxbelief.  209 

P^  At  the  outset  of  it  lie  tells  you  that  men  of  business, 
^  whatever  they  may  think,  have  not  nearly  so  much  to  do 
with  the  government  of  the  world  as  men  of  wit ;  but  that 
the  men  of  wit  of  that  age  had  made  a  grave  mistake  in 
disregarding  religion  and  decency.  He  attributes  it  to 
classical  associations,  that,  being  scholars,  they  are  so 
much  more  apt  to  resort  to  Heathen  than  to  Christian 
examples ;  and  to  correct  this  error  he  proposes  to  show, 
by  a  series  of  instances,  how  inadequate  to  all  the  great 
needs  of  life  is  the  Heathen,  and  how  sufficient  the  Chris- 
tian moraHty.  Anticipating  and  answering  Gibbon,  he 
looks  upon  it  as  a  special  design  of  Providence  that  the 
time  when  the  world  received  the  best  news  it  evej*  heard, 
was  also  that  wherein  the  warriors  and  philosophers  whose 
virtues  are  most  pompously  arrayed  in  story  should  h^ive 
been  performing,  or  just  have  finished,  their  parts,  -^e 
then  introduces,  with  elaborate  portraiture  of  their  great- 
ness, Cato,  the  younger  Brutus,  and  other  characters  of 
antiquity ;  that  he  may  also  display  them,  in  their  mo- 
ments of  highest  necessity,  deprived  of  their  courage,  and 
deserted  by  their  gods.  By  way  of  contrast  he  next  ex- 
hibits, "  from  a  certain  neglected  Book,  which  is  called, 
"  and  from  its  excellence  above  all  other  books  deservedly 
"  called.  The  Scripture,"  what  the  Christian  system  is ; 
handling  it  with  no  thfeological  pretension,  but  as  the 
common  inheritance  vouchsafed  to  us  all.  He  finds  in 
the  Sermon  on  the  Mount  "  the  whole  heart  of  man  dis- 
"  covered  by  Him  that  made  it,  and  all  our  secret  im- 

*'  The  man  of  business  has  ever  *'  wherever  we  are,  till  they  are 

* '  some  one  point  to  carry,  and  then  ' '  conquered  ;    and  we   can    never 

"  he  tells  himself  he'll  bid  adieu  to  "live  to  our    satisfaction  in  the 

"  all  the  vanity  of  ambition;   the  "  deepest  retirement,  unless  we  are 

"  man  of  pleasure  resolves  to  take  "  capable  of  so  living  in  some  mea- 

' '  his  leave  at  last,  and  part  civilly  ' '  sure  amidst  the  noise  and  business 

'*  with  his  mistress.     But  the  am-  "  of  the  world.'' 
"  bitious   man  is  entangled   every  And   so,  when  that   problem   is 

"  moment  in  a  fresh  pursuit,  and  solved    as  the   kindly  philosopher 

' '  the  lover  sees  new  charms  in  the  would  have  solved  it,  we  shall  have 

'*  object  he  fancied  he  could  aban-  men  at  last  living  really  in  the  day 

' '  don.     It  is,   therefore,  a  fantas-  that  is  present,  and  not  putting  life 

'  *  tical  way  of  thinking,  when  we  continually  off  until  to-morrow  ;  or 

"  promise  ourselves  an  alteration  in  to  that  some  other  time,  which  is  so 

"  our  conduct  from  change  of  place,  little  likely,  for  any  of  us,  ever  to 

' '  and  difference   of  circumstances.  arrive. 
*'  The  same  passions  will  attend  us 


210  FORESHADOWING   OF   THE   TATLER.    [Sir  Richard 

"  pulses  to  ill,  and  false  appearances  of  good,  exposed  and 
"  detected ; "  he  shows  through  what  storms  of  want  and 
misery  it  had  been ,  able  to  bear  unscathed  the  early 
martyrs  and  apostl^  and,  in  demonstration  of  the  world's 
present  inattention  to  its  teaching,  he  tells  them  that, 
after  all  they  can  say  of  a  man,  let  them  but  conclude  that 
he  is  rich,  and  they  have  made  him  friends,  nor  have 
they  utterly  overthrown  him  till  they  have  said  he  is  poor. 
In  other  words,  a  sole  consideration  to  prosperity  had 
taken,  in  their  imaginations,  the  place  of  Christianity ; 
and,  what  is  there  that  is  not  lost,  pursues  kind-hearted 
Steele,  in  that  which  is  thus  displaced?  "  For  Chris- 
"  tianity  has  that  in  it  which  makes  men  pity,  not  scorn, 
"  the  wicked  ;  and,  by  a  beautiful  kind  of  ignorance  of 
"  themselves,  think  those  wretches  their  equals."  It 
aggravates  all  the  benefits  and  good  offices  of  life  by 
making  them  seem  fraternal,  and  its  generosity  is  an  en- 
larged self-love.  The  Christian  so  feels  the  Avants  of  the 
miserable,  that  it  sweetens  the  pain  of  the  obliged ;  he 
gives  with  an  air  that  has  neither  oppression  nor  superio- 
rity in  it ;  "  and  is  always  a  benefactor  with  the  mien  of 
"  a  receiver." 

In  an  expression  already  quoted  from  the  Tatter^  we 
have  seen  a  paraphrase  of  these  last  few  words ;  but  indeed 
Mr.  Bickerstaff's  practical  and  gentle  philosophy,  not  less 
than  his  language,  is  anticipated  by  Captain  Steele.  The 
sj^mtfl^o^^Jthe  same.  The  leading  purpose  in  both 
'is  feneariy  sympathy  with  humanity :  a  belief,  as  both 
.express  it,  that  "it  is  not  possible  for  a  human  heart  to 
"  be  averse  to  anything  that  is  human ;"  a  desire  to  link 
the  highest  associations  to  the  commonest  things ;  a  faith 
in  the  compatibility  of  mirth  with  virtue ;  the  wish  to 
smooth  life's  road  by  the  least  acts  of  benevolence  as  well 
as  by  the  greatest ;  and  the  lesson  so  to  keep  our  under- 
standings balanced,  that  things  shall  appear  to  us  "  great 
"  or  little  as  they  are  in  nature,  notas  they  are  gilded  or 
"  suUied  by  accident  and  fortune.  j^^iThe  thoughts  and 
expressions,  as  may  be  seen  in  these  quoted,  are  fre- 
quently the  same ;  each  has  the  antithetical  turns  and 
verbal  contrasts,  "  the  proud  submission,  the  dignified 
"  obedience,"  which  is  a  peculiarity  of  Steele's  manner ; 
in  both,  we  have  the  author  aiming  far  less  to  be  author 


Steele.']  town  and  the  wits.  211 

than  to  be  companion ;  and  there  is  even  a  passage  in 
this  Christian  Hero  which  brings  rustling  about  us  the 
hoops  and  petticoats  of  Mr.  Bickerstaff's  Chloes  and 
Clarissas.  He  talks  of  the  coarseness  and  folly,  the 
alternate  rapture  and  contempt,  with  which  women  are 
treated  by  the  wits  ;  he  desires  to  see  the  love  they  in- 
spire taken  out  of  that  false  disguise,  and  put  in  its  own 
gay  and  becoming  dress  of  innocence ;  and  he  tells  us  that 
"  in  their  tender  frame  there  is  native  simplicity,  ground- 
"  less  fear,  and  little  unaccountable  contradictions,  upon 
"  which  there  might  be  built  expostulations  to  divert  a 
"  good  and  intelligent  young  woman,  as  well  as  the  ful- 
"  some  raptures,  guilty  impressions,  senseless  deifications, 
"  and  pretended  deaths,  that  are  every  day  offered  her." 
Captain  Steele  dedicates  his  little  book  to  Lord  Cutts ; 
dates  it  from  the  Tower  Guard ;  and  winds  it  up  with  a 
parallel  between  the  French  and  the  English  king,  not 
unbecoming  a  Christian  soldier.  But  surely,  as  we  read 
it  on  to  its  close,  the  cocked  hat,  the  shoulder-belt,  the 
jack-boots  disappear ;  and  we  have  before  us,  in  gown 
and  slippers,  the  Editor  of  the  Tatler.  Exit  the  soldier, 
and  enter  the  wit. 

The  publication  of  the  Christian  Hero,  in  1701,  is  cer- 
tainly the  point  of  transition.  He  says  himself  that  after 
it  he  was  not  thought  so  good  a  companion,  and  that  he 
found  it  necessary  to  enliven  his  character  by  another 
kind  of  writing.  The  truth  is  that  he  had  discovered,  at 
last,  what  ^  he  best  could  do  ;  and  where  in  future  he 
was  to  mount  guard,  was  not  at  the  Tower,  or  under 
command  of  my  Lord  Cutts,  but  at  the  St.  James's  coffee- 
house, or  \Yiirs,  in  waiting  on  Mr.  Congreve.  The 
author  of  the  Old  Bachelor  and  Love  for  Love  now  sat 
in  the  chair  just  vacated  by  Dryden ;  and  appears  to 
have  shown  unusual  kindness  to  his  new  and  promising 
recruit.  In  a  letter  of  this  date,  he  talks  of  Dick  Steele 
with  an  agreeable  air  of  cordiality  ;  and  such  was  then 
Mr.  Congreve's  distinction,  that  his  mere  notice  was  no 
trifling  feather  in  the  cap  of  an  ex-captain  of  Fusileers. 
"  I  hope  I  may  have  leave  to  indulge  my  vanity," 
says  Steele,  "by  telling  all  the  world  that  Mr.  Con- 
"  greve  is  my  friend."  The  Muses  Mercunj  not  only 
told    the   world  the  same   thing,  but  published    verses 

p  2 


5^12  W^^^  COMEDY  PLAYED.      \_Sir  Ruhard 

of  the  new  Whig  wit,  and  threw  out  hints  of  a  forth- 
coming comedy. 

The  Funeral,  or  Grief  a  la  Mode,  Steele's  first  dramatic 
production,  was  played  at  Drury  Lane  in  1702.  Yery 
sprightly  and  pleasant  throughout,  it  was  full  of  telling 
hits  at  lawyers  and  undertakers  ;  and,  with  a  great  many 
laughable  incidents,  and  no  laugh  raised  at  the  expense  of 
virtue  or  decency,  it  had  one  character  (the  widow  on 
whom  the  artifice  of  her  husband's  supposed  death  is 
played  off)  which  is  a  masterpiece  of  comedy.  Guards- 
men and  Fusileers  mustered  strong  on  the  first  night ;  in 
the  prologue,  "  a  fellow  soldier  "  made  appeal  to  their 
soldierly  S3rmpathies ;  Gibber,  Wilks,  Norris,  and  Mrs. 
Oldfield  were  in  the  cast ;  and  the  success  was  complete. 
One  can  imagine  the  enjoyment  of  the  scene  where  the 
undertaker  reviews  his  regiment  of  mourners,  and  singles 
out  for  indignant  remonstrance  one  provokingly  hale, 
well -looking  mute.  "  You  ungrateful  scoundrel,  did  not 
"  I  pity  you,  take  you  out  of  a  great  man's  ser\ice,  and 
"  show  you  the  pleasure  of  receiving  wages  ?  Did  not  I 
"  give  you  ten,  then  fifteen,  now  twenty  shillings  a  week, 
'*  to  be  sorrowful.  A^id  the  more  I  give  yoii,  I  think  the 
"  gladder  you  are  /"  But  this  was  a  touch  that  should 
have  had  for  its  audience  a  company  of  Addisons  rather 
than  of  gay  Fusileers  and  Guardsmen.  Sydney  Smith, 
indeed,  who  delighted  in  it,  used  to  think  it  Addison's ; 
but  certainly  Steele's  first  comedy  had  no  insertion  from 
that  masterly  hand.  When  it  was  written  Addison  was 
in  Italy,  when  it  was  acted  he  was  in  Geneva  ;  and  he 
did  not  return  to  England,  after  an  absence  of  more 
than  four  years,  till  towards  the  close  of  the  following 
autumn. 

He  found  his  friend  not  only  established  among  the 
wits,  but  enrolled  in  that  most  select  body  of  their  number 
who  drank  Whig  toasts  at  the  Kit-Katt,  with  the  prudent 
Mr.  Tonson  at  one  end  of  the  table  and  the  proud  Duke 
of  Somerset  at  the  other.  For,  the  comedy  had  brought 
him  repute  in  high  Whig  quarters,  and  even  the  notice  of 
the  King.  He  was  justly  proud  of  this.  It  was  much  to 
say,  from  experience,  that  nothing  could  make  the  town  so 
fond  of  a  man  as  a  successful  play ;  but  more  to  have  it 
to  remember  that  "  his  name  to  be  provided  for,  was  in 


Steele^^ 


NOCTES  CCENtEQUE  deorum.  213 


"  the  la§t  table-book  ever  worn  by  tbe  glorious  and 
"  immortal  William  the  Third." '  Yes,  the  last.  Be- 
tween the  acting  of  his  comedy  and  the  arrival  of  his 
friend,  their  great  sovereign  had  ceased  to  be  mortal. 
Somewhat  sad  were  Whig  prospects,  therefore,  when 
Addison  again  grasped  Steele  by  the  hand;  but  the 
Kit-Katt  opened  its  doors  eagerly  to  the  new  comer,  the 
first  place  at  Will's  and  the  St.  James's  was  conceded  to 
him,  and  the  Nodes  Ccenceque  Deorum  began.  Many 
have  described  and  glorified  them;  and  Steele  coupled 
them  in  later  years  mth  a  yet  rarer  felicity,  when  he 
had  to  tell  of  "nights  spent  with  him  apart  from  all 
"  the  world,"  in  the  freedom  and  intimacy  of  their  old 
school  days  of  Charter-house,  and  their  College  walks  by 
the  banks  of  the  Cherwell.  There  is  no  such  thing  as 
real  conversation,  Addison  used  to  say,  but  between  two 
persons;  and  after  nights  so  passed,  Steele  could  only 
think  of  his  friend  as  combining  in  himself  all  the  wit  and 
nature  of  Terence  and  Catullus,  heightened  with  a  humour 
more  exquisite  and  delightful  than  either  possessed,  or 
than  was  ever  the  property  of  any  other  man. 

Of  course   Captain  Steele  (for   so,  according  to  Mr, 
Dennis,  he  continued  to  be  called  at  the  theatres)^  had  by 

1  Apology,  p.  227.  territories,  and  (prefacing  thus  his 

2  How  popular  Steele  was  at  the  recommendation  of  the  young  poet, 
theatres,  and  himself  how  fond  of  Leonard  Welsted,  to  instruct  whom 
them,  needs  hardly  to  be  said.  in  the  art  of  comedy  he  has  asked 
Some  of  his  finest  pieces  of  criti-  Gibber  and  Wilks  to  act  the  Care- 
cism  are  on  Betterton  and  East-  less  Husband)  he  goes  on  to  give  a 
court.  He  describes  himself,  as  Mr.  specimen  of  his  most  nicely  discri- 
Bickei'staff,  carrying  his  little  cousin  minative  criticism.  A  brief  passage 
to  see  the  Hamlet  of  the  great  tra-  will  sufiice  :  "It  is,"  he  says,  "  a 
gedian,  and  tells  us  he  shalUalways  ''  very  good  office  one  man  does 
love  the  little  chap  for  his  partiality  "  another,  when  he  tells  him  the 
in  all  that  concerned  the  fortune  of  ' '  manner  of  his  being  pleased ;  and 
Hamlet.  "This,"  he  continues,  '*  I  have  often  thought  that  a  com- 
"  is  entering  youth  into  the  affec-  "  ment  upon  the  capacities  of  the 
"  tions  and  passions  of  manhood  "  players  would  very  much  improve 
"  beforehand,  and,  as  it  were,  ante-  "  the  delight  that  way,  and  impart 
"  dating  the  effects  we  hope  from  a  '•  it  to  those  who  otherwise  have  no 
"  long  and  liberal  education."  In  "sense  of  it.  The  first  of  the 
the  same  spirit  is  that  delightful  ''  present  stage  are  Wilks  and 
paper  (182)  in  which,  after  speaking  "Gibber,  perfect  actors  in  their 
of  Eugenie's  gallery  of  fine  pictures,  "different  kinds.  Wilks  has  a 
and  the  grand  woods  and  fields  of  "  singular  talent  in  representing 
Crassus,  he  says,  that  the  players  "  the  graces  of  nature  ;  Gibber  the 
are  his  pictures  and  the  scenes  his  '  *  deformity  in  the  affectation   of 


^14  THE  TENDER  HUSBAJ^D.        \_Sir  Richard 

this  time  begun  another  comedy,  and  from  his  friend  he 
received  for  it  not  a  few  of  what  he  generously  said  after- 
wards were  its  most  applauded  strokes.  Nor  is  it  difficult, 
we  think,  to  trace  Addison's  hand  in  the  Tender  Husband. 
There  is  a  country  squire  and  justice  of  the  quorum  in 
it,  perhaps  the  very  first  the  stage  had  in  those  days 
brought  from  his  native  fields  for  any  purpose  more  inno- 
cent than  to  have  horns  clapped  on  his  head ;  and,  in  the 
scenes  with  him  and  his  lumpish  nephew,  there  is  a  height- 
ened humour  we  are  disposed  to  give  to  Addison.  But 
Steele's  rich  invention,  and  careless  graces,  are  also  very 
manifest  throughout ;  and  in  the  dialogues  of  the  romance- 
stricken  niece  and  her  lover,  from  which  Sheridan  bor- 
rowed, and  in  that  of  the  niece  and  her  bumpkin  of  a 
cousin,  to  which  even  Goldsmith  was  somewhat  indebted, 
we  have  pure  and  genuine  comedy.  The  mistake  of  the 
piece,  as  of  its  predecessor,  is  the  occasional  disposition  to 
reform  morals  rather  than  to  paint  manners ;  for  the  rich 
vein  which  the  Tatler  worked  to  such  inimitable  uses, 
yielded  but  scantily  to  the  working  of  the  stage.  But  the 
Tender  Sushand,  admirably  acted  by  Wilks,  Norris,  and 
Eastcourt,  and  above  all  by  Mrs.  Oldfield  in  that  love-lorn 
Parthenissa,  Biddy  Tipkin,  well  deserved  its  success. 
Before  its  production  there  had  arrived  the  glorious  news 

"  them.     Were  I  a  writer  of  plays,  that  the  same  justice  should  be  done 

'*  I  should  never  employ  either  of  to  them.     "Mr,  William  Bullock," 

'*  them  in  parts  which  had  not  their  he   says,  "and  Mr.  William  Pen- 

"  bent  this  way.     This  is  seen  in  "  kethman  are   of  the   same  age, 

' '  the  inimitable  strain  and  run  of  '  *  profession,  and  sex.     They  both 

**  good  humour  which  is  kept  up  in  **  distinguish  themselves  in  a  very 

**  the  character  of  Wildair,  and  in  the  "  particular  manner  under  the  dis- 

'*  nice  and  delicate  abuse  of  under-  "  ciplyie  of  the  crab-tree,  with  this 

•'  standing  in  that  of  Sir  Novelty.  "  only  difference,  that  Mr.  Bullock 

**  Gibber,    in    another    light,    hits  **  has  the  more  agreeable   squall, 

*'  exquisitely  the  flat  civility  of  an  '*  and  Mr.  Penkethman  the  more 

"affected     gentleman -usher,     and  "  graceful  shrug.     Penkethman  de- 

"  Wilks  the   easy  frankness   of  a  "  vours   a   cold  chick   with    great 

"gentleman."     Nothing  could  be  "applause;  Bullock's  talent  chiefly 

better  said  than  that.     Nor  must  I  "  lies  in  asparagus.     Penkethman 

omit    what    he    afterwards    wrote  "  is   very  dexterous   at   conveying 

(No.  188)  by  way  of  a  parody  on  "  himself  under  a  table ;  Bullock  is 

this  criticism,  but  with  infinite  good  "  no  less  active  at  jumping  over  a 

humour  in  the  satire,  in  answer  to  "  stick.      Mr.  Penkethman  has  a 

a  demand  from  two  walking  gentle-  "  great  deal  of  money  ;    but  Mr. 

men  of  the  stage,  Mr.  William  Bui-  "  Bullock  is  the  taller  man." 
lock,  and  Mr.  William  Penkethman, 


Steele?^        -svhig  prospects  brightening.  215 

of  Blenheim,  and  Steele  flung  in  some  'WL.iggish.  and 
patriotic  touches.  Addison  wrote  the  prologue,  and  to 
Addison  the  piece  was  dedicated :  the  author  taking  that 
means  of  declaring  pubKcly  to  the  world  that  he  looked 
upon  this  intimacy  as  the  most  valuable  enjoyment  of  his 
life,  and  hoping  also  to  make  the  Town  no  ill  compliment 
for  their  kind  acceptance  of  his  comedy  by  acknowledging, 
that  this  had  so  far  raised  his  own  opinion  of  it  as  to  make 
him  think  it  no  improper  memorial  of  an  inviolable  friend- 
ship. To  Addison  he  addressed  at  the  same  time  a  more 
private  \\dsh,  which  lay  very  near  his  heart.  "  I  told  him 
*'  there  was  nothing  I  so  ardently  wished,  as  that  we 
"  might  sometime  or  other  publish  a  work  written  by  us 
"  both,  which  should  bear  the  name  of  The  Monument,  in 
"  memory  of  our  friendship."  ^  Such  a  work,  imder  a  live- 
lier title,  not  planned  with  that  view  by  either  friend,  was 
soon  to  perpetuate,  and  inseparably  to  connect,  the  names 
ofboth. 

/^^eauAvhile,  after  two  or  three  years  of  adversity  and 
depression,  the  Whig  cause  had  again  brightened^  The 
great  foreign  policy  of  William  coerced,  as  with  a  spell, 
the  purposes  of  his  successors  ;  and  again,  with  the  victory 
of  Blenheim,  Whig  principles  obtained  the  mastery.  But, 
in  the  interval  of  gloomy  and  variable  weather,  many 
changes  had  by  degrees  become  also  perceptible  in  the 
places  of  resort  which  the  wits  made  famous.  The  coffee- 
house had  ceased  to  be  any  longer  such  neutral  ground  as 
it  had  formerly  been.  Men  are  more  jealous  of  their 
opinions  when  their  opinions  are  less  prosperous,  more 
eager  themselves  to  chamgion  them,  and  less  tolerant  of 
others  who  oppose  them.'''ljiterature  itself  took  insensibly 
a  stronger  tone,  and  a  higher  position,  in  those  stormy  and 
threatening  days.  It  was  the  only  direct  communication 
between  the  men  who  governed  the  State,  and  the  people 
from  whom,  if  the  Act  of  Settlement  was  to  have  any 
authority,  they  received  their  sole  commission  to  govern  '-^ 
Halifax,  Somers,  Sunderland,  Co^vper,  indeed  all  the  lead- 
ing Whig  lords,  knew  this  thoroughly  ;  and  if  they  had 
acted  on  it  less  partially,  they  would  have  kept  their 
ground  better  than  they  did.     "When  Mr.  Mackey,  in  his 

1  The  Spectator,  No.  555. 


216  WITS  AT  THE  ST.  JAMEs's.      [_Sir  Richard 

Memoirs  of  his  Secret  Services,  says  of  Halifax  that  lie 
was  a  great  encourager  of  learning  and  learned  men, 
Swift  grimly  writes  in  the  margin  that  "  his  encourage- 
"  ments  were  only  good  words  and  dinners."  But  that  at 
any  rate  was  something.  At  such  a  time  as  the  present 
it  was  much.  When  Blenheim  made  a  "  new"  Whig  of 
the  Tory  Lord  Treasurer,  a  good  word  from  Halifax  got 
Addison  a  commissionership  of  two  hundred  a  year  from 
him  ;  and,  while  the  restoration  of  the  old  Whigs  was  yet 
doubtful,  the  dinners  of  Halifax  at  least  kept  their  par- 
tisans together,  and  Prior  himself  was  rendered  not  less 
steady  than  even  Ambrose  Philips  or  Steele. 

But,  as  we  have  said,  prospects  in  that  direction  were 
brightening  at  last.  Events  were  accomplishing,  of  them- 
selves, what  the  actors  in  them  had  not  the  power  to 
prevent ;  and,  through  whatever  remaining  obstacle  or 
hindrance,  for  the  present  the  plain  result  had  become  too 
imminent  to  be  much  longer  delayed  by  any  possible  com- 
bination of  clergy  and  country  gentlemen.  What  was  done 
with  such  a  hope,  only  hastened  the  catastrophe.  Oddly 
enough,  however,  it  happened  just  at  this  time  that  the 
only  consolation  of  which  the  circumstances  were  capable, 
was  suggested  by  a  member  of  the  one  disheartened  class 
to  a  member  of  the  other.  It  was  at  the  St.  James's 
coffee-house,  now  the  great  Whig  resort,  but  into 
which  there  had  stumbled  one  day,  when  all  the  lead- 
ing wits  were  present,  a  *'  gentleman  in  boots,  just 
"  come  out  of  the  country."  Already  also,  on  that  day, 
a  clergyman  of  remarkable  appearance  had  been  observed 
in  the  room.  Of  stalwart  figure,  mth  great  sternness 
and  not  much  refinement  of  face,  but  with  the  most 
wonderful  blue  eyes  looking  out  from  under  black  and 
heavy  brows,  he  had  been  walking  half  an  hour  or  so 
incessantly  to  and  fro  across  the  floor  without  speaking 
to  anybody ;  when  at  last,  on  the  entrance  of  the  booted 
squire,  up  went  the  walking  priest  to  him,  and  asked  this 
question  aloud :  "  Pray,  Sir,  do  you  remember  any  good 
"  weather  in  the  world  ?  "  The  country  gentleman  was 
of  course  unprepared  for  anything  in  the  way  of  allegory, 
and  stammered  out  an  answer  which  did  little  credit  to 
him  as  an  agriculturist.  "Yes,  Sir,  I  thank  God  I 
"  remember  a  great  deal  of  good  weather  in  my  time." 


Steele.']  doctor  joxathan  swift.  217 

To  which,  the  querist  rejoined,  "  That  is  more  than  I  can 
"  say.  I  never  remember  any  weather  that  was  not  too 
"  hot  or  too  cold,  too  wet  or  too  dry;  but,  however  God 
"  Almighty  contrives  it,  at  the  end  of  the  year  'tis  all 
"  very  well " — took  up  his  hat,  and  without  another  word 
to  anybody  walked  out  of  the  room. 

That  was  the  first  introduction  of  Steele  and  Addison 
to  the  Reverend  Jonathan  Smft.  Not  long  after,  how- 
ever, they  knew  in  him  not  only  "  the  mad  parson,"  but 
the  writer  of  one  of  the  most  effective  of  Whig  pamphlets, 
the  author  of  the  most  masterly  prose  satire  published 
since  Rabelais,  the  foremost  intellect,  and  one  of  the  first 
wits  of  the  day.  Nor  was  he,  to  them,  the  least  delightful 
of  associates.  Charles  Fox  had  a  theory  about  Swift, 
that  he  could  not  have  written  the  heaps  of  nonsense  he 
entertained  his  friends  with,  unless  he  had  been  at  heart 
a  good-natured  man.  All  at  any  rate  were  agreed  as  to 
his  wonderful  and  unequalled  fascination  in  society,  at  such 
times  as  he  pleased  to  exert  it.  When  Addison,  shortly 
after  this  date,  gave  him  his  book  of  travels,  he  wrote  on  its 
fly-leaf  that  it  was  given  to  the  most  agreeable  companion, 
the  truest  friend,  and  the  greatest  genius  of  the  age. 
Happily  none  of  them  yet  knew  what  his  master-passion 
was,  of  what  little  value  he  counted  friendships  or  alliances 
that  might  thwart  it,  with  what  secret  purpose  he  sought 
the  power  to  be  derived  from  literary  distinction,  to  what 
uses  he  would  have  turned  his  influence  over  those  Whig 
wits  at  the  St.  James's  coffee-house,  and  what  a  dreary  and 
unsatisfactory  past  he  was  there  himself  to  redeem.  As 
yet,  they  saw  him  only  in  his  amiable  aspect ;  somewhat 
perhaps  condescending  to  their  mirth,  but  sharing  in  it 
nevertheless,  and,  when  he  pleased,  making  it  run  over 
with  abundance.  Indeed  he  cared  so  little  for  what  was 
matter  of  real  moment  to  them,  that  he  was  able  often  to 
pass  for  a  good-natured  man  in  points  where  they  failed 
to  show  good  nature.  "  I  have  great  credit  with  him,"  he 
wrote  of  an  indifferent  verse- writer  to  Ambrose  Philips, 
when  a  foreign  employment  had  for  a  time  carried  off  that 
staunch  Whig  poet,  "because  I  can  listen  when  he  reads, 
"  which  neither  you  nor  the  Addisons  nor  Steeles  ever 
"  can."  It  is  the  same  letter  in  which  he  tells  Ambrose 
that  the  "  triumvirate  "  of  Addison,  Steele,  and  himself, 


218  A  FAMOUS  TRIUMVIRATE.        [Sit'  RtcJiard 

come  together  as  seldom  as  the  sun,  moon,  and  earth ; 
though  he  often  sees  each  of  them,  and  each  of  them  as 
often  him  and  each  other ;  hut,  when  he  is  of  their 
number,  justice  is  done  to  Ambrose  as  he  would  desire. 

No  doubt,  when  the  triumvirate  were  thus  together, 
Swift  could  do  justice  also,  in  his  dry  way,  to  the  pretty 
little  opera  of  Rosamund  which  Mr.  Addison  had  per- 
mitted to  be  represented,  and  which,  though  it  brought 
him  no  repute,  added  another  member  to  the  circle  who 
surrounded  him  (the  "senate,^'  as  Pope  afterwards  called 
them,)  in  the  person  of  that  young  Mr.  Tickell  of  Oxford 
•  who  addressed  to  him  a  poem  in  admiration  of  it.  One 
may  imagine,  too,  that  while  Swift  bore  with  much  equa- 
nimity Mr.  Addison's  failure  on  that  occasion,  he  might 
be  even  disposed  to  make  merry  at  a  certain  contempo- 
raneous failure  of  the  other  member  of  the  triumvirate, 
who,  having  proposed  to  give  a  dramatic  form  to  Jeremy 
Collier's  Short  Vieiv,  and  to  introduce  upon  the  stage 
itself  that  slashing  divine's  uncompromising  strictures  of 
it,  produced  his  Lying  Lover ;  and  had  the  honour  to 
inform  the  House  of  Commons  some  years  later,  that  he 
alone,  of  all  English  dramatists,  had  written  a  comedy 
wbich  was  damned  for  its  piety.  This  surprising  incident 
closed  for  the  present  Captain  Steele's  dramatic  career ; 
and  when  the  Muse's  Mercury  next  introduced  his  name 
to  its  readers,  it  was  to  say  that,  as  for  comedies,  there 
was  no  great  expectation  of  anything  of  that  kind  since 
Mr.  Farquhar's  death,  for  "  the  two  gentlemen  who  would 
"  probably  always  succeed  in  the  comic  vein,  Mr.  Con- 
"  greve  and  Captain  Steele,  have  affairs  of  much  greater 
"  importance  at  present  to  take  up  their  time  and 
''  thoughts." 

Soon  after  his  pious  failure,  in  truth,  he  had  received 
from  the  gift  of  Harley  what  he  calls  the  lowest  office  in 
the  State,  that  of  Gazetteer,  and  with  it  the  post  of  Gen- 
tleman-Usher in  the  household  of  Prince  George.  It 
was  not  long  before  Harley's  own  resignation,  that  he  had 
to  thank  him  for  this  service ;  and  it  was  at  the  very  time 
when  the  old  Whigs  were  to  all  appearance  again  firmly 
established,  and  Addison  was  Under-Secretary  of  State, 
that  heavings  of  no  distant  change  became  again  percep- 
tible.    Writers  themselves  were  beginning  to  sway  from 


Steele.~\         first  and  second  marriage.  219 

side  to  side,  as  preferments  fell  thick.  There  was  Eowe 
coming  over  from  the  Tories,  and  there  was  Prior  going 
over  from  the  Whigs ; '  and  there  was  the  *'  mad  parson  " 
of  the  St.  James's  coffee-house  talking  his  Tract  on  Civil 
Discords  to  alarm  the  Tories,  or  his  Tale  of  a  Tub  to 
alarm  the  Whigs,  according  as  either  side  for  the  time 
inclined.  And  in  the  midst  "of  these  portents,  as  we  have 
said,  Mr.  Harley  quitted  office  ;  and  the  Whig  phalanx 
little  dreamed  what  he  went  to  plan  and  meditate  in  his 
compelled  retirement. 

But,  in  other  than  political  ways,  the  current  of  life  was 
moving  on  with  Steele,  and  matters  of  private  as  well  as 
pubHc  concern  had  to  do  with  his  secession  from  the 
theatre.  Some  little  time  before  this,  he  had  received  a 
moderate  fortune  in  West  India  property  with  his  first 
wife,  the  sister  of  a  planter  in  Barbados ;  and  he  had 
been  left  a  widower  not  many  months  after  the  marriage. 
Just  before  Harley  left  the  ministry,  he  married  again ; 
and,  of  every  letter  or  note  he  addressed  to  his  second 
wife  during  the  twelve  years  of  their  union,  that  lady 
proved  herself  so  curiously  thrifty,  whether  for  her  own 
comfort  in  often  reading  his  words  or  for  his  plague  in 
often  repeating  them,  that  the  public  curiosity  was  gra- 
tified at  the  commencement  of  the  century  by  the  publi- 
cation of  upwards  of  four  hundred  such  compositions: 
and  thus  the  most  private  thoughts,  the  most  familiar 
and  unguarded  expressions,  weaknesses  which  the  best 
men  pass  their  lives  in  concealing,  self-reproaches  that 
only  arise  to  the  most  generous  natures,  everything,  in 
short,  that  Eichard  Steele  uttered  in  the  confidence  of  an 
intimacy  the  most  sacred,  and  which  repeatedly  he  had 
begged  "might  be  shown  to  no  one  living,"  became  the 
property  of  all  the  world.     It  will  be  seen,  as  we  proceed, 

1  In    the    Hanmer    Correspon-  "honour.     They  say  when  yon  and 

dence,    published   not   many  years  ' '  I  had  lookt  over  this  piece  for  six 

ago,   we   have  a   significant   letter  "  months,    the    man    could    write 

from  Prior  to  Hanmer  dated  in  1707,  "  verse  ;  but  when  we  had  forsaken 

and  referring  to  another  accession       "  him,  and  he  went  over  to  St 

the  Whigs  had  lately  had  in  the  "  and  Addison,  he  could  not  write 
person  of  Mr.  Edmund  Smith,  who  "  prose:  you  see,  Sir,  how  danger- 
dedicated  his  play  to  Lord  Halifax.  "  ous  it  is  to  be  well  with  you  ;  a 
^^  Phcedra  is  a  prostitute,  and  **  man  is  no  longer  father  of  his  own 
"  Smith's  dedication  is  nonsense.  "  writings,  if  they  are  good.'* 
"  People  do  me  a  great  deal   of 


220  MRS.  MOLLY  scrnLOCK         [Sir  Richard 

how  lie  stands  a  test  such  as  never  was  applied,  within 
our  knowledge,  to  any  other  man  on  earth. 

*' Happy  is  the  wooing  that  is  not  long  a-doing,''  and 
Steele's  does  not  seem  to  have  been  prolonged  beyond  a 
month.  But  his  letters  are  such  masterpieces  of  ardour 
and  respect,  of  tender  passion  and  honest  feeling,  of  good 
sense  and  earnestness  as  well  as  of  playful  sweetness, 
that  the  lady  may  fairly  be  forgiven  for  having  so  soon 
surrendered.  Instead  of  saying  he  shall  die  for  her,  he 
protests  he  shall  be  glad  to  lead  his  Hfe  with  her ;  and 
on  those  terms  she  accepts,  to  use  tbe  phrase  she  after- 
wards applied  to  him,  *'  as  agreeable  and  pleasant  a  man 
*'  as  any  in  England.^'  Once  accepted,  his  letters  are  in- 
cessant. He  writes  to  her  every  hour,  as  he  thinks  of  her 
every  moment,  of  the  day.  He  cannot  read  his  books,  he 
cannot  see  his  friends,  for  thinking  of  her.  AYhile  Addi- 
son and  he  are  together  at  Chelsea,  he  steals  a  moment, 
while  his  friend  is  in  the  next  room,  to  tell  the  charmer 
of  his  soul  that  he  is  only  and  passionately  hers.  In 
town,  he  seems  to  have  shared  Addison's  lodgings  at  this 
time  ;  for,  not  many  weeks  afterwards,  he  tells  her  **  Mr. 
"  Addison  does  not  remove  till  to-morrow,  and  therefore 
''  I  cannot  think  of  moving  my  goods  out  of  his  lodgings." 
Thus  early,  she  seems  to  have  contracted  that  habit  of  call- 
ing Addison  her  "  rival, '*  which  he  often  charges  on  her 
in  subsequent  years  ;  and  who  will  doubt  that  the  Under- 
Secretary,  rigid  moralist  as  he  was,  formed  part  of  the 
"  very  good  company,"  who  not  many  days  before  the 
marriage  drank  Mrs.  Mary  Scurlock's  health  (such  was 
her  name :  she  was  the  daughter  and  sole  heiress  of 
Jonathan  Scurlock,  Esq.  of  the  county  of  Carmarthen) 
by  the  title  of  the  woman  Dick  Steele  loves  best,  to  an  extent 
it  would  hardly  be  decorous  now  to  mention  ?  The  last 
few  days  before  the  wedding  are  the  least  tolerable  of  all. 
If  he  calls  at  a  friend's  house,  he  must  borrow  the  means 
of  writing  to  her.  If  he  is  at  a  coffee-house,  the  waiter  is 
despatched  to  her.  If  a  minister  at  his  office  asks  him 
what  news  from  Lisbon,  he  answers  she  is  exquisitely 
handsome.  If  Mr.  Elliott  desires  at  the  St.  James's  to 
know  when  he  has  been  last  at  Hampton-court,  he  replies 
it  will  be  Tuesday  come  se'ennight.  For,  the  happy  day 
was  fixed  at  last ;  and  on  "  Tuesday  come  se'ennight," 


Steele.^  mrs.  dick  Steele.  221 

the  9th  of  September,  1707,  the  adorable  Molly  Scurlock 
became  Mrs.  Richard  Steele. 

It  does  not  fall  within  our  purpose  to  dwell  in  much 
detail  upon  so  large  a  subject  as  this  lady's  merits  and 
defects,  but  some  circumstances  attended  the  marriage  of  a 
nature  to  make  some  of  its  early  results  less  surprising. 
In  her  fortune  of  400^  a-year  her  mother  had  a  life- 
interest,  and  she  does  not  seem  to  have  regarded  favour- 
ably any  of  the  plans  the  newly-married  couple  proposed. 
On  the  other  hand,  Steele  had  certainly  over-estimated  his 
own  income  ;  and  a  failure  in  his  Barbados  estate  made 
matters  worse  in  this  respect.  Eager  meanwhile  to  show 
all  distinction  to  one  he  loved  so  tenderly,  and  belie\dng, 
as  he  wrote  to  her  mother,  that  the  desire  of  his  friends  in 
power  to  serve  him  more  than  warranted  the  expectations 
he  had  formed,  his  establishment  was  larger  than  prudence 
should  have  dictated.  Mrs.  Steele  had  a  town -house  in 
Bury-street,  St.  James's;  and  within  six  weeks  of  the 
marriage,  her  husband  had  bought  her  a  pretty  little 
house  at  Hampton -court  which  he  furnished  handsomely, 
and  pleasantly  called,  by  way  of  contrast  to  the  Palace 
by  the  side  of  which  it  stood,  the  Hovel.  In  the  neigh- 
bourhood lived  Lord  Halifax ;  between  whom  and  Steele 
as  well  as  Addison  there  was  such  frequent  intercourse 
at  the  time,  that  this  probably  led  to  Steele's  first  unwise 
outlay,  which  Addison  helped  to  make  up  by  a  loan  of  a 
thousand  pounds.  In  something  less  than  a  year  (the 
20th  of  August,  1708)  the  whole  of  this  loan  was  repaid ; 
but  soon  after,  the  same  sort  of  thing  re- appears  in  the 
correspondence  ;  and  not  until  some  eight  or  nine  years 
later  does  it  entirely  disappear,  after  a  manner  to  be 
related  hereafter,  and  very  needlessly  mis-related  hitherto. 
Thus  established  at  Hampton-court,  Mrs.  Steele  drives 
her  chariot  and  pair ;  upon  occasion,  even  her  four  horses. 
She  has  a  Httle  saddle-horse  of  her  own,  which  costs  her 
husband  five  shillings  a  week  for  his  keep,  when  in  town. 
She  has  also  Eichard  the  footman,  and  Watts  the  gardener, 
and  Will  the  boy,  and  her  "  own  "  women,  and  an  addi- 
tional boy  who  can  speak  Welsh  when  she  'goes  down  to 
Carmarthen.  But  also,  it  must  be  confessed,  she  seems 
to  have  had  a  frequent  and  alarming  recurrence  of  small 
needs  and  troubles  which  it  is  not  easy  to  account  for.    If 


222      LARGE  EXPENSES  AND  SMALL  WANTS.    [<5'/r  Richavd 

it  be  safe  to  take  strictly  the  notes  she  so  carefully  pre- 
served, she  was  somewhat  in  the  position  pleasantly 
described  by  Madame  de  Sevigne,  in  her  remark  to  the 
Countess  Calonne  and  Madame  Mazarine  when  they 
visited  her  on  their  way  through  Aries  :  "  My  dears,  you 
"  are  like  the  heroines  of  romances  ;  jewels  in  abundance, 
"  but  scarce  a  shift  to  your  backs  !  " 

In  the  fifth  month  after  their  marriage,  Steele  writes  to 
her  from  the  Devil  Tavern  at  Temple-bar  (Ben  Jonson's 
house),  to  tell  her  he  cannot  be  home  to  dinner,  but  that 
he  has  partly  succeeded  in  his  business,,  and  that  he 
incloses  two  guineas  as  earnest  of  more,  languishes  for 
her  welfare,  and  will  never  be  a  moment  careless  again. 
JN'ext  month,  he  is  getting  Jacob  Ton^on  to  discount  a 
bill  for  him,  and  he  desires  that  the  man  who  has  his 
shoe- maker's  bill  should  be  told  that  he  means  to  call  on 
him  as  he  goes  home.  Three  months  later,  he  finds  it 
necessary  to  sleep  away  from  home  for  a  day  or  two,  and 
orders  the  printer's  boy  to  be  sent  to  him  with  his  night- 
gown, slippers,  and  clean  linen,  at  the  tavern  where  he 
is.  But,  in  a  few  days,  all  seems  prosperous  again  :  she 
calls  for  him  in  her  coach  at  Lord  Sunderland's  office, 
with  his  best  periwig  and  new  shoes  in  the  coach-box, 
and  they  have  a  cheerful  drive  together.  Not  many  days 
later,  just  as  he  is  going  to  dine  with  Lord  Halifax,  he 
has  to  inclose  her  a  guinea  for  her  pocket.  She  has 
driven  in  her  chariot- and-four  to  Hampton-court  on  the 
Tuesday,  and  on  the  Thursday  he  sends  her  a  small 
quantity  of  tea  she  was  much  in  want  of.  On  the  day 
when  he  had  paid  Addison  back  his  first  thousand  pounds, 
he  incloses  for  her  immediate  uses  a  guinea  and  a  half. 
The  day  before  he  and  "  her  favourite  "  Mr.  Addison  are 
going  to  meet  some  great  men  of  the  State,  he  sends  her 
a  quarter  of  a  pound  of  black  tea,  and  the  same  quantity 
of  green.  The  day  before  he  goes  into  his  last  attend- 
ance at  Court  upon  Prince  George,  he  conveys  to  her  a 
sum  so  small,  that  he  can  only  excuse  it  by  saying  he  has 
kept  but  half  as  much  in  his  own  pocket.  And  a  few 
days  after  Mr.  Addison  has  taken  him  in  a  coach- and- 
four  to  dine  with  his  sister  and  her  husband,  he  tells  his 
dearest  Prue  that  he  has  despatched  to  her  seven  penny- 
worth of  walnuts,  at  five  a  penny ;  the  packet  containing 


Sleek.l  LETTERS   TO   PRUE.  223 

whicli  he  opens  with  much  gravity  before  it  goes,  to 
inform  her  that  since  the  invoice  six  walnuts  have  been 
abstracted. 

In  that  humorous  touch,  not  less  than  in  the  change 
from  his  "  dearest  Molly  '*  to  his  "  dearest  Prue,'*  by 
which  latter  name  he  always  in  future  called  her,  we  get 
glimpses  of  the  character  of  Mrs.  Richard  Steele.  That 
she  had  unusual  graces  both  of  mind  and  person,  so  to 
have  fascinated  a  man  like  her  husband,  may  well  be 
assumed ;  but  here  we  may  also  see  something  of  the 
defects  and  demerits  that  accompanied  them.  She  seems 
to  have  been  thrifty  and  prudent  of  everything  that  told 
against  him  (as  in  keeping  every  scrap  of  his  letters),  but 
by  no  means  remarkably  so  in  other  respects.  Clearly 
also,  she  gave  herself  the  most  capricious  and  prudish 
airs ;  and  quite  astonishing  is  the  success  with  which  she 
appears  to  have  exacted  of  him,  not  only  an  amount  of 
personal  devotion  unusual  in  an  age  much  the  reverse  of 
chivalrous,  but  accounts  the  most  minute  of  all  he  might 
be  doing  in  her  absence.  He  thinks  it  hard,  he  says 
in  one  letter,  that  because  she  is  handsome  she  will  not 
behave  herself  with  the  obedience  that  people  of  worse 
features  do,  but  that  he  must  be  continually  giving  her 
an  account  of  every  trifle  and  minute  of  his  time ;  yet  he 
does  it  nevertheless.  In  subjoining  some  illustrations  on 
this  point  from  their  first  year  of  marriage,  let  us  not  fail 
to  observe  how  characteristically  the  world  has  treated 
such  a  record.  If  Mr.  Steele's  general  intercourse  with 
his  wife  had  been  in  keeping  with  the  customary  habits 
of  the  age,  he  would  have  had  no  need  to  make  excuses 
or  apologies  of  any  kind;  yet  these  very  excuses,  an 
exception  that  should  prove  the  rule,  are  in  his  case  taken 
as  a  rule  to  prove  against  him  the  exception. 

He  meets  a  schoolfellow  from  India,  and  he  has  to  write 
to  the  dearest  being  on  earth  to  pardon  him  if  she  does 
not  see  him  till  eleven  o'clock.  He  has  to  dine  at  the 
gentlemen -ushers'  table  at  Court,  and  he  sends  his  adorable 
ruler  a  messenger  to  bring  him  back  her  orders.  He 
cannot  possibly  come  home  to  dinner,  and  he  writes  to 
tell  his  dear,  dear  wife,  that  he  cannot.  He  "  lay  last 
"  night  at  Mr.  Addison's,"  and  he  has  to  tell  the  dear 
creature  the  how  and  the  why,  and  all  about  the  papers 


224  A  TOO  TENDER  HUSBAND.     [^Sir  Richavd 

they  were  preparing  for  the  press.  A  friend  stops  him 
as  he  is  going  home,  and  carries  him  off  to  Will's,  whereon 
he  sends  a  messenger,  at  eleven  at  night,  to  tell  her  it  is 
a  Welsh  acquaintance  of  hers,  and  that  they  are  only 
drinking  her  health,  and  that  he  will  be  with  her  "  within 
"  a  pint  of  wine.''  If,  on  another  occasion,  he  has  any 
fear  of  the  time  of  his  exact  return,  he  sends  a  special 
despatch  to  tell  her  to  go  to  bed.  When  any  interesting 
news  reaches  him  for  his  Gazette,  he  sends  it  off  at  once 
to  her.  From  the  midst  of  his  proofs  at  the  office,  he  is 
continually  writing  to  her.  When,  at  the  close  of  a  day 
of  hard  work,  he  has  gone  to  dine  with  Addison  at  Sandy- 
end,  he  snatches  a  little  time  from  eating  while  the  others 
are  busy  at  it  at  the  table,  to  tell  her  he  is  "  yours,  yours, 
"  ever,  ever."  He  sends  her  a  letter  for  no  other  purpose 
than  to  tell  his  dear,  dear  Prue,  that  he  is  sincerely  her 
fond  husband.  He  has  a  touch  of  the  gout,  and  exaspe- 
rates it  by  coming  down  stairs  to  celebrate  her  first  birth- 
day since  their  wedding ;  but  it  is  his  comfort,  he  tells 
her  mother,  as  he  hobbles  about  on  his  crutches,  to  see 
his  darling  little  wife  dancing  at  the  other  end  of  the 
room. 

When  Lord  Sunderland  orders  him  to  attend  at  council, 
he  sends  a  special  note  to  warn  Prue  of  the  uncertainty 
of  his  release.  When,  in  May  1708,  Mr.  Addison  is  chosen 
member  for  Lostwithiel,  and  he  is  obliged,  with  some  per- 
sons concerned,  to  go  to  him  immediately,  he  has  to  write 
to  acquaint  her  with  that  fact.  He  will  write  from  the 
Secretary's  office  at  seven  in  the  evening,  to  tell  her  he 
hopes  to  be  richer  next  day ;  and  again  he  will  write  at 
half-past  ten  the  same  night,  to  assure  her  he  is  then 
going  very  soberly  to  bed,  and  that  she  shall  be  the  last 
thing  in  his  thoughts  as  he  does  so,  as  well  as  the  first 
next  morning.  Next  morning  he  tells  her  she  was  not, 
he  is  sure,  so  soon  awake  as  he  was  for  her,  desiring  upon 
her  the  blessing  of  God.  He  writes  to  her  as  many  letters 
in  one  day  as  there  are  posts,  or  stage-coaches,  to  Hamp- 
ton-court ;  and  then  he  gets  Jervas  the  painter  to  fling 
another  letter  for  her  over  their  garden-wall,  on  passing 
there  at  night  to  his  own  house.  He  lets  her  visit  his 
Gazette  office,  nay,  is  glad  of  visits  at  such  a  place,  he 
tells  her,  from  so  agreeable  a  person  as  herself;  and  when 


Steele?^  a  peevish  wife.  225 

her  gay  dress  comes  fluttering  in,  and  with  it  "  the  beau- 
"  tifulest  object  his  eyes  can  rest  upon,"  he  forgets  all 
his  troubles.  And  if  charming  words  could  enrich  what 
they  accompanied,  of  priceless  value  must  have  been  the 
guineas,  the  five  guineas,  the  two  guineas,  the  ten  shil- 
lings, the  five  shillings,  they  commended  to  her.  He  has 
none  of  Sir  Bashful  Constant's  scruples  in  confessing  that 
he  is  in  love  with  his  wife.  His  life  is  bound  up  with 
her  ;  he  values  nothing  truly  but  as  she  is  its  partaker  ; 
he  is  but  what  she  makes  him ;  with  the  strictest  fidelity 
and  love,  with  the  utmost  kindness  and  duty,  with  every 
dictate  of  his  aftections,  with  every  pulse  of  his  heart,  he 
is  her  passionate  adorer,  her  enamoured  husband.  To 
which  the  measure  of  her  return,  in  words  at  least,  may 
perhaps  be  taken  from  the  fact,  that  he  has  more  than 
once  to  ask  her  to  "write  him  word"  that  she  shall  really 
be  overjoyed  when  they  meet. 

The  tone  of  her  letters  is  indeed  often  a  matter  of 
complaint  with  him,  and  more  often  a  theme  for  loving 
banter  and  pleasant  raillery.  What  does  her  dissatisfac- 
tion amount  to,  he  asks  her  on  one  occasion,  but  that  she 
has  a  husband  who  loves  her  better  than  his  life,  and  who 
has  a  great  deal  of  troublesome  business  out  of  the  pain 
of  which  he  removes  the  dearest  thing  alive  ?  Her  manner 
of  writing,  he  says  to  her  on  some  similar  provocation, 
might  to  another  look  like  neglect  and  want  of  love  ;  but 
he  will  not  understand  it  so,  for  he  takes  it  to  be  only  the 
uneasiness  of  a  doating  fondness  which  cannot  bear  his 
absence  without  disdain.  She  may  think  what  she 
pleases,  again  he  tells  her,  but  she  knows  she  has  the  best 
husband  in  the  world.  On  a  particular  letter  filled  with 
her  caprices  reaching  him,  he  says  of  course  he  must  take 
his  portion  as  it  runs  without  repining,  for  he  considers 
that  good  nature,  added  to  the  beautiful  form  God  had 
given  her,  would  make  a  happiness  too  great  for  human 
life.  But,  be  it  lightly  or  gravely  expressed,  the  feeling 
in  which  all  these  little  strifes  and  contentions  close,  on  his 
part,  still  is,  that  there  are  not  words  to  express  the  ten- 
derness he  has  for  her  ;  that  love  is  too  harsh  a  word  ;  and 
that  if  she  knew  how  his  heart  aches  w^hen  she  speaks  an 
unkind  word  to  him,  and  springs  with  joy  when  she  smiles 
upon  him,  he  is  sure  she  would  be  more  eager  to  make 


226  roMESTic  differences.      \_Sir  Richard 

him  tappy  like  a  good  wife,  than  to  torment  him  like  a 
peevish  beauty. 

Nevertheless  there  are  differences,  more  rare,  which  the 
peevish  beauty  tvill  push  into  positive  quarrels  ;  and 
from  these  his  kind  heart  suffers  much.  The  first  we 
trace  some  eight  months  after  the  marriage  (we  limit  all 
our  present  illustrations,  we  should  remark,  to  the  first 
year  and  a  half  of  their  wedded  life),  when  we  find  him 
trying  to  court  her  into  good  humour  after  it,  and  protest- 
ing that  two  or  three  more  such  differences  will  despatch 
him  quite.  On  another  occasion  he  knows  not,  he  says, 
what  she  would  have  him  do ;  but  all  that  his  fortune 
will  compass,  he  promises  that  she  shall  always  enjoy, 
and  have  nobody  near  her  that  she  does  not  like,  unless 
haply  he  should  himself  be  disapproved  for  being  so  de- 
votedly her  obedient  husband.  At  yet  another  time,  he 
teUs  her  he  shall  make  it  the  business  of  his  life  to  make 
her  easy  and  happy ;  and  he  is  sure  her  cool  thoughts 
will  teU  her  that  it  is  a  woman's  glory  to  be  her  husband's 
friend  and  companion,  and  not  his  sovereign  director. 
On  the  day  following  this,  he  takes  a  higher  tone.  She 
has  saucily  told  him  that  their  little  dispute  has  been  far 
from  a  trouble  to  her,  to  which  he  gravely  replies,  that 
to  him  it  has  been  the  greatest  affliction  imaginable  :  and, 
since  she  has  twitted  him  with  the  judgment  of  the  world, 
his  answer  must  be,  that  he  shall  never  govern  his  actions 
by  it,  but  by  the  rules  of  morahty  and  right  reason ;  and 
so  he  will  have  her  understand,  that,  though  he  loves  her 
better  than  the  light  of  his  eyes,  or  the  life-blood  in  his 
heart,  yet  he  will  not  have  his  time  or  his  will,  on  which 
her  interests  as  well  as  his  depend,  under  any  direction 
but  his  own.  Upon  this  a  great  explosion  appears  to 
have  followed  ;  and  almost  the  only  fragment  we  possess 
of  her  writing  is  a  confession  of  error  consequent  upon  it, 
which  so  far  is  curiously  characteristic  of  what  we  beheve 
her  nature  to  have  been,  that  while,  in  language  which 
may  somewhat  explain  the  secret  of  her  fascination  over 
him,  it  gives  even  touching  expression  to  her  love  and 
her  contrition,  it  yet  also  contrives,  in  the  very  act  of 
penitence,  to  plant  another  thorn.  She  begs  his  pardon 
if  she  has  offended  him,  and  she  prays  God  to  forgive 
him  for  adding  to  the  sorrow  of  a  heavy  heart,  which  is 


Steele.'^  origin  of  bickerstaff.  227 

above  all  sorrow  but  for  his  sake.  This  he  is  content  to 
put  aside  by  a  very  fervent  assurance  that  there  is  not 
that  thing  on  earth,  except  his  honour,  and  that  dignity 
which  every  man  who  lives  in  the  world  must  preserve  to 
himself,  which  he  is  not  ready  to  sacrifice  to  her  will  and 
inclination  ;  and  then  he  pleasantly  closes  by  telling  her 
that  he  had  been  dining  the  day  before  with  Lord  Hah- 
fax,  when  they  had  drank  to  the  "beauties  in  the  garden." 
The  beauties  in  the  garden  were  Prue  and  an  old  school- 
fellow then  on  a  visit  to  her. 

And,  of  the  wits  who  so  drank  to  her  at  Lord  Halifax's, 
Swift  was  doubtless  one.  For  this  was  the  time  when 
what  he  afterwards  sneeringly  called  that  nobleman's 
"  good  words  and  good  dinners  "  were  most  abundant, 
and  when  Anthony  Henley  put  together,  as  the  very  type 
of  unexceptionable  Whig  company,  "  Mr.  Swift,  Lord 
"  Halifax,  Mr.  Addison,  Mr.Congreve,and  the  Gazetteer." 
Never  w^as  Swift  so  intimate  as  now  with  Steele  and  Addi- 
son. We  have  him  dining  with  Steele  at  the  George, 
when  Addison  entertains  ;  with  Addison  at  the  Fountain, 
when  Steele  entertains  ;  and  with  both  at  the  St.  James's, 
when  Wortley  Montague  is  the  host.  And  no  wonder 
the  run  upon  him  was  great  at  the  time,  for  he  had  lately 
started  that  wonderful  joke  against  Partridge  in  which 
the  rest  of  the  wits  joined  so  eagerly;  and  which  not  only 
kept  the  town  in  fite  of  laughter  for  a  great  many  months, 
but  was  turned  to  a  memorable  use  by  Steele.  In  ridi- 
cule of  the  notorious  almanac-maker,  and  all  kindred  im- 
postors. Swift  devised  sundry  Predictions  after  their  own 
manner  for  the  year  1708,  the  very  first  of  which  an- 
nounced nothing  less  than  the  death  of  Partridge  himself; 
which  event,  after  extremely  cautious  consultation  with 
the  star  of  his  nativity,  he  fixed  for  the  29th  of  March, 
about  eleven  at  night :  and  he  was  casting  about  for  a 
whimsical  name  to  give  to  the  assumed  other  astrologer 
who  was  to  publish  this  joke,  when  his  eye  caught  a  sign 
over  a  locksmith's  house  with  Isaac  Bickerstaff  under- 
neath. Out  accordingly  came  Mr.  Bickerstaff's  predic- 
tions, followed  very  speedily  by  an  account  of  the  "  ac- 
"  complishment  of  the  first  of  them  upon  the  29tli 
"  instant."  What  he  most  counted  upon  of  course  was, 
that  Partridge  should  be  such  a  fool  as  to  take  the  matter 

<i2 


228  THE   JOKE    AGAINST   PARTRIDGE.      l_Sir  Richavd 

up  gravely  ;  and  lie  was  not  disappointed.  In  a  furious 
pamphlet,  the  old  astrologer  declared  he  was  perfectly 
well,  and  they  were  knaves  that  reported  it  otherwise. 
Whereupon  Mr.  Bickerstaff  retorted  with  a  vindication 
more  diverting  than  either  of  its  predecessors ;  Rowe, 
Steele,  Addison,  and  Prior,  contributed  to  the  entertain- 
ment in  divers  amusing  ways ;  and  Congreve,  affecting  to 
come  to  the  rescue,  described  under  Partridge's  name  the 
distresses  and  reproaches  'Squire  Bickerstaff  had  exposed 
him  to,  insomuch  that  he  could  not  leave  his  doors  with- 
out somebody  twitting  him  for  sneaking  about  without 
paying  his  funeral  expenses.  And  all  this,  heightened  in 
comicaHty  by  its  contrast  with  the  downright  rage  of 
Partridge  himself,  who  was  continually  advertising  him- 
self not  dead,  and  by  the  fact  that  the  Company  of  Sta- 
tioners did  actually  proceed  as  if  in  earnest  he  were,  so 
contributed  to  make  Mr.  Bickerstaff  talked  about  far  and 
wide,  that  Steele  afterwards  spoke  with  no  exaggeration 
when  he  gave  Swift  the  merit  of  having  rendered  the 
name  famous  through  all  parts  of  Europe,  and  of  having 
raised  it,  by  his  inimitable  spirit  and  humour,  to  as  high 
a  pitch  of  reputation  as  it  could  possibly  arrive  at.^ 

That  prediction  was  to  be  falsified,  and  the  name  of 
Bickerstaff,  even  from  Steele  himself,  was  to  receive  addi- 
tional glory  :  but  not  yet  for  a  few  months.  The  close  of 
1708  was  a  time  of  sore  distress  with  Steele,  aggravated 
by  his  wife's  approaching  confinement.  An  execution  for 
rent  was  put  into  Bury-street,  which  unassisted  he  could 
not  satisfy ;  and  it  has  been  surmised  that  Addison  was 
the  friend  whom  he  describes  as  refusing  him  assistance. 
This,  however,  is  not  likely.  Though  he  tells  his  wife, 
two  days  afterwards,  that  she  is  to  be  of  good  cheer,  for 

*  He  said  tkis  in  that  preface  to  '  *  entering  upon  this  work,  a  cer- 

the  fourth  collected  volume  of  the  **  tain  uncommon  way  of  thinking, 

Taller  in  which  (without  naming  "  and  a  turn  in  conversation  pecu- 

him)  he  refers  to  Swift  as  a  gentle-  *'  liar  to  that  agreeable  gentleman, 

man  well  known  to  possess  a  genius  "  rendered  his   company  very  ad- 

quite  inimitable  in  its  power  of  Bur-  *' vantageous  to  one  whose  imagi- 

rounding  with  pleasing  ideas  occa-  "nation    was    to    be    continually 

sions    altogether     barren     to    the  *' employed  upon  obvious  and  com- 

common   run   of  invention.     With  **  mon  subjects,  though  at  the  same 

characteristic  candour,  he  adds  his  "  time  obliged  to  treat  of  them  in 

personal  obligations.      "  I  must  ac-  **  a  new  and  unbeaten  method." 
**  knowledge  also  that  at  my  first 


Steele.'\  mr.  secretary  addison.  229 

he  has  found  friendship  among  the  lowest  when  disap- 
pointed by  the  highest,  he  far  too  eagerly  connects  with 
"  her  rival "  Addison,  in  a  letter  of  less  than  a  week's 
later  date,  a  suggestion  which  is  at  once  to  bring  back 
happiness  to  them  all,  to  point  with  any  probability  the 
former  reproach  as  against  him.  Just  at  this  time,  on 
Wharton  becoming  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland,  Addison 
received  the  appointment  of  Secretary ;  and  his  instant 
suggestion  was  that  Steele  should  put  in  his  claim  for  the 
Under- Secretaryship,  which  this  would  vacate.  Through 
letters  extending  over  some  five  or  six  weeks,  it  is  obvious 
that  the  hope  continues  to  sustain  Steele,  and  that  the 
friends  are  working  together  to  that  end.  It  is  not  ex- 
tinguished even  so  late  as  Addison's  farewell  supper  ; 
where  he  "  treats  "  before  his  depaHure,  and  Steele  helps 
him  in  doing  the  honours  to  his  friends.  But  he  is  doomed 
to  experience,  what  Addison  himself  proved  during  the 
reverses  of  some  twelve  months  later,  that  "  the  most 
"  likely  way  to  get  a  place  is  to  appear  not  to  want  it  ;"* 
and  three  weeks  after  the  supper,  he  writes  to  a  friend 
that  his  hopes  for  the  Under- Secretaryship  are  at  an  end, 
but  he  believes  "  something  additional "  is  to  be  given  to 
him.  After  a  few  weeks  more,  his  daughter  Elizabeth  is 
born  ;  and,  according  to  a  memorandum  in  the  writing  of 
Prue,  "  her  god-mothers  were  my  mother  and  Mrs. 
"  Yaughan,  her  god-fathers  Mr.  Wortley  Montague  and 
"  Mr.  Addison." 

Then,  not  many  weeks  after  the  Irish  Secretary's  de- 
parture, occurred  that  incident,  which,  little  as  Steele  was 
conscious  of  it  at  the  time,  concerned  him  far  more  than  all 
the  state  dignities  or  worldly  advantages  his  great  friends 
could  give  or  take  away.  On  Tuesday  the  12th  of  April 
1709,  Steele  published,  as  the  first  of  the  Lucubrations  of 
Isaac  Bickerstaff,  Esquire,  the  first  number  of  the  Taller; 
which  he  continued  to  issue  unintermittedly,  every  Tues- 
day, Thursday,  and  Saturday,  until  Tuesday  the  2nd  of 
January  1710-11.     It  does  not  appear  that  any  one  was 

1  This  expression   is  in  one   of  of  Mr.    Bohn,    in   whose   complete 

Addison's  letters,  hitherto  unpub-  edition  of  Addison's  works,  prepared 

lished,   of  which   a   collection    has  for  his  Standard  Library,  they  are 

been  submittsd  to  us,  fur  the  pur-  designed  to  appear, 
poses  of  this  paper,  by  the  courtesy 


230  PUBLICATION  OF  THE  TATLER.     \_Sir  Ric/iard 

in  his  secret,  unless  perhaps  Swift;  who  was  still  lingering 
in  London,  with  whom  he  was  in  constant  communication 
(all  Swift's  letters  and  packets  heing  addressed  to  him  at 
his  Gazette  office,  for  the  friend's  privilege  of  so  getting 
them  free  of  postage),'  and  with  whom  he  may  probably 
have  advised  before  using  Mr.  Bickerstaff 's  name.  Addison, 
whose  later  connexion  with  it  became  so  memorable,  was 
certainly  not  consulted  at  first,  and  did  not  even  recognise 
his  friend's  hand  until  some  numbers  had  appeared.  The 
first  four  were  given  to  the  newsmen  for  distribution 
gratis,  and  afterwards  the  price  charged  was  a  penny. 
The  early  and  large  demand  from  the  country  does  not 
seem  to  have  been  expected  ;  for  it  was  not  till  after  the 
26th  number,  that  a  threehalfpenny  edition  was  regularly 
published  with  a  blank  half-sheet  for  transmission  by 
post.  Steele  himself  appears  modestly  to  have  thought, 
if  Spence  reports  him  accurately,  that  the  combination 
with  its  more  original  matter  of  its  little  articles  of  news, 
to  which  of  course  his  official  position  imparted  unusual 
authority,  first  gave  it  the  wings  that  carried  it  so  far ; 
but,  after  what  we  have  shown  of  its  other  attractions  at 
the  very  outset,  this  explanation  will  hardly  be  required. 
The  causes  too,  as  well  as  the  extent,  of  its  popularity, 
have  been  pointed  out  by  a  then  living  authority  quite 
unexceptionable. 

*  An  important  privilege  in  those  spondents,  and  how  far  he  dispensed 

days,  and  one  which  Steele  would  with  it ;  but  the  truth  appears  to 

fain  have  been  able  to   exert   on  have  been,    as  was  most  natural, 

behalf  of  his  friend  Mr.  Bickerstaff.  that  the    mere    occasional    contri- 

As  it  was,    Isaac  was  obliged  to  butors  were  required  to  pay  (this  is 

insist  upon  his  correspondents  pay-  clear  from   an  advertisement  sub- 

ing  for  the  carriage  of  the  letters  joined  to  the  Tatler  No.  186,  in  its 

they  sent.     The  postage  of  a  single  original  form),   and  that  payment 

letter  to  any  place  not  exceeding  was  not  expected  in  the  case  of  Mr. 

eighty  miles,  was  then  but  Id,  and  Bickerstaflf's   coadjutors  and  prin- 

a  double   letter,  Ad.     But,  in  the  cipal  friends.     At  the  close  of  No. 

next    session    of    parliament,    the  117,  in  the  original  form,  he  gives 

postage  to  the  same  distance  was  his  thanks  and  humble  service  for  a 

advanced  to  Zd  and  Qd  (where  it  parcel  of  letters  value  ten  shillings, 

stood  for  upwards  of  half  a  century,  of  which  it  is  added  that  the  next 

when  it  was  still  further  advanced);  subsequent  letter  would  be  one;  and 

and  of  course  the  charge  was  con-  this  leaves  no  doubt  that  the  packet 

siderably  more  for  greater  distances.  was  one  of  those  precious  ones  from 

In  the  notes  to  his  excellent  edition  Ireland,  containing  not  merely  Mr. 

of   the    Tatler,    Mr.    Nichols   dis-  Eustace  Budgell's  handywork,  but 

cusses    how    far    Mr.    Bickerstaff  Addison's  and  Swift's. 
exacted  prepayment  from  his  corre- 


Steele.l  extraordinary  popularity.  231 

Gay  was  a  young  man  just  entering  on  tlie  town,  when 

the  Tatler  was  quitting  it;  and,  already  with  strong  Tory 
leanings,  he  wrote  to  a  friend  in  the  country  shortly  after 
the  appearance  of  the  last  number,  that  its  sudden  cessa- 
tion was  bewailed  as  some  general  calamity,  and  that  by 
it  the  coffee-houses  had  lost  more  customers  than  they 
could  hope  to  retain  by  all  their  other  newspapers  put 
together.  He  adds  that  the  author's  reputation  had  really 
arisen  to  a  greater  height  than  he  believed  any  living 
author's  ever  was  before  him  ;  and  he  proceeds  to  account 
for  it  by  the  fact  that,  whereas  other  polite  writers  endea- 
voured to  please  the  age  by  falling  in  ^dth  its  vices,  and 
it  would  have  been  "  a  jest  some  time  since  for  a  man  to 
"  assert  that  anything  witty  could  be  said  in  praise  of  a 
"  married  state,  or  that  devotion  and  virtue  were  any  way 
"  necessary  to  the  character  of  a  fine  gentleman,"  Mr. 
Bickerstaff,  on  the  other  hand,  had  the  courage  to  tell  the 
town  that  they  were  a  parcel  of  fops,  fools,  and  vain  co- 
quettes ;  and  had  the  genius  to  tell  it  in  such  a  manner 
as  even  pleased  them,  and  made  them  more  than  half 
inclined  to  believe  it.  And  who,  continues  Gay,  remem- 
bering the  thousand  follies  his  little  paper  had  either 
banished  or  given  check  to,  how  much  it  had  contributed 
to  virtue  and  religion,  how  many  it  had  rendered  happy 
by  merely  showing  it  was  their  own  fault  if  they  were  not 
so,  and  to  what  extent  it  had  impressed  upon  the  indiffer- 
ent the  graces  and  advantages  of  letters,  who  shall  won- 
der that  Mr.  Bickerstaff,  apart  from  his  standing  with 
the  wits,  should  at  the  morning  tea-tables  and  evening 
assemblies  have  become  of  all  guests  the  most  wel- 
come? that  the  very  merchants  on  'Change  should  have 
relished  and  caressed  him  ?  and  that  the  bankers  in 
Lombard-street,  not  less  than  the  ladies  at  Court, 
were  now  verily  persuaded  "  that  Captain  Steele  is 
"  the  greatest  scholar  and  best  casuist  of  any  man  in 
"  England  .P" 

One  bitter  drop  there  was,  nevertheless,  in  the  cup  thus 
overflowing.  Even  the  Tories,  says  Gay,  "  in  respect  to 
"  his  other  good  qualities,  had  almost  forgiven  his  unac- 
"  countable  imprudence  in  declaring  against  them." 
There  is  much  virtue  in  an  almost.  Here  it  means,  that 
Steele  would  certainly  have  been  forgiven  his  first  unac- 


S32  THE  WHIGS  IN  EXTREMIS.        \_Sir  Rtchaj  d 

countable  imprudence,  if  lie  had  not  gone  on  committing 
^vast  many  more. 

AKThe  Tatler  had  not  been  half  a  year  in  existence,  when 
uneasy  symptoms  of  weakness  had  broken  out  among  the 
Ministry.  In  the  autumn  Addison  returned  to  London, 
and  the  first  result  of  the  conference  of  the  friends  was  a 
letter  from  Steele  to  Swift,  who  remained  in  Ireland.  It 
enclosed  a  letter  from  Lord  Halifax.  It  also  told  Swift 
that  no  man  could  have  said  more  in  praise  of  another, 
than  Addison  had  said  last  Wednesday  in  praise  of  him  at 
Lord  Halifax's  dinner-table.  It  assured  him,  that,  among 
powerful  men,  no  opportunity  was  now  omitted  to  upbraid 
the  Ministry  for  his  stay  in  Ireland ;  and  that  there  was 
but  one  opinion  among  the  company  at  the  dinner  in 
question,  which  included  Lord  Edward  Eussell,  Lord 
Essex,  Mr.  Maynwaring,  Mr.  Addison,  and  himself. 
Finally,  it  wonders  that  Swift  does  not  oftener  write  to 
him,  reminds  him  of  the  town's  eagerness  to  listen  to  the 
real  Mr.  Bickerstaff,  and  tells  him  how  his  substitute 
longs  to  usher  him  and  his  into  the  world.  "  Not  that 
"  there  can  be  anything  added  by  me  to  your  fame," 
says  the  good-hearted  writer,  "  but  to  walk  bare-headed 
"  before  you."  In  this  letter  may  be  read  the  anxiety  of 
the  Whigs,  conceived  too  late,  as  so  many  of  their  good 
purposes  have  been,  to  secure  the  services  of  Jonathan 
Swift.  The  reply  was  a  first-rate  Tatler,^  but  nothing 
satisfactory  in  regard  to  the  Whigs. 


^  I  have  said  in  a  previous  paper  "  what  great  anxiety  I  have  suf- 

that  Swift's  tone  jars  now  and  then  "  fered,  to  see  of  how  little  benefit 

upon  the  mirth  of  his  friends,  as  hav-  "my  Lucubrations   have    been    to 

ing something  too  much  of  condescen-  '*  my  fellow-subjects.     Men  will  go 

sion  in  it ;  but  the  humour  of  all  his  "  on  in  their  own  way,  in  spite  of 

contributions  to  the  T'afZfr  is  of  the  "all    my    labour.       I   gave    Mr. 

most  rare  and  exquisite  kind.     Ge-  "  Didapper  a  private  reprimand  for 

nerally  of  course  he  wrote  as  a  cor-  **  wearing  red-heeled  shoes,  and  at 

respondent;  but  occasionally  Steele  "the  same  time  was  so  indulgent 

surrendered  Mr.  BickerstafF's  chair  "  as  to  connive  at  him  for  fourteen 

to  him,  and  observe  howslily  he  can  "  days,  because  I  would  give  him 

use  it  to  have  a  friendly  laugh  at  "  the  wearing  of  them  out  ;  but, 

everybody  concerned,      "Neman,"  "after  all  this,  I  am.  informed  he 

he  begins  (No,  67)  "can   conceive,  "appeared  yesterday  with  a  new 

"until  he   comes   to   try   it,   how  "  pair  of  the  same  sort,     I  have  no 

"  great  a  pain  it  is  to  be  a  public-  "better  success    with   Mr.    What- 

"  spirited  person,     I  am  sure  I  am  "  D'ye-call,     as    to    his    buttons  ; 

"  unable  to  express  to  the  world  "  Stentor  still  roars  ;  and  box  and 


Steele.']  the  harley  ministry.  233 

Soon  after  broke  out  the  Sacheverell  trial,  and  with  it 
the  opportunity  Harley  had  planned  and  waited  for.  He 
saw  the  Whig  game  was  up,  and  that  he  had  only  to  pre- 
sent himself  and  claim  the  spoil.  Steele  saw  it  too,  and 
made  vain  attempts  in  the  Tatler  to  turn  the  popular 
current.  The  promise  made  him  before  Addison's  first 
departure  for  Dublin,  was  now  redeemed  ;  and  a  Commis- 
sionership  of  Stamps  testified,  tardily  enough,  the  Whig 
sense  of  the  services  he  was  rendering,  and  the  risks  he 
was  running,  in  their  behalf.  From  all  sides  poured  in 
upon  him,  at  the  same  time,  warnings  which  he  bravely 
disregarded.  From  Ireland,  under  the  name  of  Ami- 
nadab,  he  was  prudently  counselled  to  consider  what  a 
day  might  bring  forth,  and  to  "  think  of  that  as  he  took 
"tobacco;"  nor  could  he,  in  accordance  with  such  advice, 
have  taken  many  whiffs,  when  Swift  followed  his  letter. 
By  the  time  he  arrived  in  London,  at  the  close  of  August 
1710,  the  Whig  overthrow  was  as  nearly  as  possible 
complete;  Harley  and  St.  John  were  in  power;  his  friend 
Prior,  who  had  gone  over  to  them  and  was  expelled  from 
the  Kit-Katt,  was  abusing  his  old  associate  Steele  in  a 
new  paper  called  the  Examiner;  and  the  first  piece  of 
interesting  news  he  had  to  write  to  Stella  was,  that 
Steele  would  certainly  lose  his  place  of  Gazetteer.  This 
was  after  an  evening  (the  10th  of  September)  passed  in 
company  with  him  and  Addison.  They  met  again,  at 
the  dinner- table  of  Lord  Halifax,  on  the  1st  of  October ; 
when  Swift  refused  to  pledge  with  them  the  resurrection, 
unless  they  would  add  the  reformation,  of  the  Whigs : 
but  he  omitted  to  mention,  that,  on  that  very  day,  he  had 
been  busy  lampooning  the  ex- whig-premier.  Three  days 
after  he  was  dining  with  Harley,  having  cast  his  fortunes 
finally  against  his  old  friends ;  and  before  the  same 
month  was  closed,  the  Gazette  had  been  taken  from 
Steele. 

Yet  Swift  afiects  to  feel  some  surprise  that,  on  going  to 
Addison  a  few  days  later  to  talk  over  Steele's  prospects, 

"  dice  rattle  as  loud,  as  they  did  **  /must  still  go  on  in  laying  these 

''  before  I  writ  against  them.    Par-  "  enormities  before  men's  eyes  ;  and 

**  tridge  walks  about  at  noon -day,  "let  them  answer  for  going  on  iu 

"  and  J^lsculapius  thinks  of  adding  "  their  practice." 
"  a  ne  w  lace  to  b  is  livery.  However, 


234  SWIFT  JOINS  THE  TORIES.     [5/>  Richavd 

and  volunteer  Ms  good  services  with  Harley,  Addison 
should  have  "  talked  as  if  he  suspected  me,"  and  refused 
to  fall  in  with  anything  proposed.  More  strangely  still,  he 
complains  to  Stella  the  next  day  that  he  has  never  had 
an  invitation  to  Steele's  house  since  he  came  over  from 
Ireland ;  and  that  during  this  visit  he  has  not  even  seen 
his  wife,  "  by  whom  he  is  governed  most  abominably.  So 
*•  what  care  I  for  his  wit  ?"  he  adds.  "  For  he  is  the  worst 
"  company  in  the  world  till  he  has  a  bottle  of  wine  in  his 
"  head."  Nevertheless  he  shows  still  a  strange  hankering 
after  both  the  friends,  and  not  so  much  indifference  as 
might  be  supposed  to  the  worst  of  company :  for,  the  next 
social  glimpse  we  have  of  him  is  at  our  old  acquaintance 
Elliott's,  of  the  St.  James's,  where  the  coffeeman  has  a 
christening,  at  which,  as  Yicar  of  Laracor,  he  officiates ; 
and  where  "  the  rogue  "  had  a  most  noble  supper,  and 
Steele  and  himself  sat  among  some  scurvy  people  over  a 
bowl  of  punch,  until  very  late  indeed.  But,  in  truth,  one 
has  not  much  difficulty  in  discovering  exactly  enough,  in 
spite  of  many  apparent  contradictions  of  phrase,  in  what 
position  recent  events  had  now  placed  the  two  friends 
towards  him.  On  their  side,  without  further  faith  in  his 
political  profession,  remained  still  the  same  respect  for  his 
genius,  and  still  the  same  desire  to  have  help  from  his 
wit ;  and  on  his,  underlying  a  real  desire  to  be  of  service 
where  he  could,  was  displayed  too  much  of  a  fussy 
exhibition  of  his  eagerness  to  serve,  and  far  too  exuberant 
and  exulting  a  sense  of  that  sudden  and  unwonted  favour 
at  Whitehall,  which  seemed  half  to  have  turned  the  great 
brain  that  had  condescendingly  waited  for  it  so  long. 
At  his  intercession,  Harley  was  to  see  Steele;  but  the 
ex- Gazetteer  did  not  even  keep  the  appointment  which 
was  to  save  him  his  Commissionership.  He  probably 
knew,  better  than  Swift,  that  Harley  had  no  present  inten- 
tion to  remove  him.  The  new  Lord  Treasurer  certainly 
less  surprised  his  antagonist  Steele  than  his  friend 
Jonathan,  by  showing  no  more  resentment  than  was 
impHed  in  the  request  that  the  latter  should  not  give  any 
more  help  to  the  Tatler.  *'  They  hate  to  think  that  I 
"  should  help  him,"  he  wrote  to  Stella,  *'  and  so  1  frankly 
"  told  them  1  would  do  it  no  more." 

Already  Steele  had  taken  the  determination,  however, 


Siee/e.'\  the  tatler  discontinued.  235 

wliicli  made  this  resolve,  in  so  far  as  the  Tatler  was  con- 
cerned, of  the  least  possible  importance  to  him.  His 
loss  of  the  Gazette  had  entailed  a  change  in  the  con- 
duct of  his  paper,  which  had  convinced  him  of  the 
expediency  of  re-casting  it  on  a  new  plan.  The  town 
was  startled  by  the  announcement,  therefore,  that  the 
Tatler  of  the  2nd  January,  1710-11,  was  to  be  the  last ; 
and  Swift  informs  us  that  Addison,  whom  he  met  that  night 
at  supper,  was  as  much  surprised  as  himself  at  the  an- 
nouncement, and  quite  as  little  prepared  for  it.  But  this 
may  only  express  the  limit  of  the  confidence  now  reposed  in 
Swift ;  for  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  the  friends  had 
acted  together,  in  what  already  was  in  agitation  to  replace 
the  Tatler.  Nor  is  there  any  ground  to  suppose  that 
Addison  was  ignorant,  or  Swift  informed,  of  an  interview 
which  Steele  had  with  Harley,  in  the  interval  before  the 
new  design  was  matured.  The  Lord  Treasurer's  weakness 
was  certainly  not  a  contempt  or  disregard  for  letters,  and, 
though  the  object  of  the  meeting  was  to  settle  a  kind  of 
armed  neutrality,  he  overpassed  it  so  far  as  to  intimate 
the  wish  not  simply  to  retain  Steele  in  the  Commissioner- 
ship,  but  to  give  him  something  more  valuable.'  This 
was  civilly  declined,  but  the  courtesy  was  not  forgotten ; 
and  the  better  feeling  it  promoted  for  a  time,  the  sort  of 
armistice  it  established,  the  understood  abstinence  from 
present  hostility  involved  in  it,  obtained  all  the  more 
zealous  help  from  Addison  to  his  friend's  new  scheme. 
On  Thursday  the  1st  of  March,  1710-11,  appeared 
the  first  number  of  the  Spectator ,  with  an  announce- 
ment that  it  was  to  be  continued  daily.  Much  wonder 
was  raised  by  so  bold  a  promise,  and  little  hope  enter- 
tained that  it  could  ever  be  redeemed.  The  result  showed, 
notwithstanding,  with  what  well-grounded  confidence  the 


^   "When  I  had  the  honour  of  a  "  which  yon  have  at  snndry  times 

short  conversation  with  yon,  you  *'  showed  me."     So  Steele  wrote  to 

were  pleased  not  only  to  signify  to  Harley  (then  Lord  Oxford)  on  re- 

me  that  I  should  remain  in  this  signing  his  Commissionership  a  little 

office,  but  to  add  that,  if  I  would  more  than  two  years  after  the  date 

name  to  you  one  of  more  value,  in  the  text,  when  the  Spectator  had 

which  would  be  more  commodi-  been    brought  to  a  close,  and   his 

ous  to  me,  you  would  favour  me  tacit  compact  with  Addison  was  at 

in  it.   .   .  I  thank  your  Lordship  an  end, 
for  the   regard  and    distinction 


236  THE  SPECTATOR  BEGUN.        \_Sir  Richurd 

friends  had  embarked  in  an  enterprise  wliicli  men  of 
less  ricli  resource  thought  extravagant  and  impossible. 
From  day  to  day,  without  a  single  intermission,  the  Spec- 
tator was  continued  through  555  numbers,  up  to  the  6th 
of  December  1712.  It  began  with  a  regular  design,  which 
with  unflagging  spirit  was  kept  up  to  its  close.  "  It 
"  certainly  is  very  pretty,"  wrote  Swift  to  Stella,  after 
some  dozen  numbers  had  appeared ;  when,  in  answer  to 
her  question,  he  had  to  tell  her  that  it  was  written  by  Steele 
with  Addison's  help.  "  Mr.  Steele  seems  to  have  gathered 
"  new  life,"  he  added,  "  and  to  have  a  new  fund  of  wit." 
So  indeed  it  might  have  seemed.  Never  had  he  shown 
greater  freshness  and  invention,  than  in  his  first  sketches 
of  the  characters  that  were  to  give  life  to  the  new  design  : 
nor  can  any  higher  thing  be  said  of  his  conception  of  Sir 
Roger  de  Coverley  and  Will  Honeycomb,  than  that  it 
deserved  the  noble  elaboration  of  Addison;  or  of  his 
humorous  touches  to  the  short-faced  gentleman,'  than 
that  even  Addison's  invention  was  enriched  by  them.  It 
is  not  our  purpose  here  to  compare  or  criticise  what  each, 
according  to  his  genius,  contributed.  It  is  enough  to 
say  that  to  the  last  both  nobly  bore  their  part,  and  that, 
whatever  we  have  seen  in  the  Tatler  of  Steele's  wit, 
pathos,  and  philosophy,  reappeared  with  new  graces  in  the 
Spectator.'^    There  was  the  same  inexpressible  charm  in 

^  We  can  give  only  one   out  of  Spectator  Tvas  printed,  to  insert  a 

many  masterly  strokes ;  but,  in  the  new  preposition  or  conjunction.  Nor 

whole  range  of  Addison's  wit,    is  does  this  differ  from  Pope's  report 

there  anything  more  perfect   than  that  Addison  wrote  very  fluently, 

Steele's   making  the  Spectator  re-  but  was  very  scrupulous  and  slow 

member  that  he  was  once  taken  up  in  correction  :    to   which  he  adds, 

for  a  Jesuit,   for   no   other  reason  what   no   doubt   Steele   knew   and 

than  his  profound  taciturnity  ?  acted  on,  that  "  it  seemed  to  be  for 

2  It  may  perhaps  be  worth  sub-  *'  his  advantage  not  to  have  time 

joining,  before  we  quit  the  subject  **  for  much  revisal."     That,  during 

of  their  pleasant  and  ever  memo-  the   continuance   of  the   works  in 

rable  literary  companionship,   that  which  they  were  jointly   engaged, 

what  has  been  said  at  various  times  Steele  sent  all  papers  to  press,  is 

of  Addison's  care  and  Steele's  indif-  certain.      Tickell  asserts  that  the 

ference  in  regard  to  corrections  of  papers,    before    publication,    were 

the  press,  seems  to  express  not  badly  never  or  seldom  shown  to  each  other 

the  different  temperaments  of  the  by  their  respective  writers;  but,  that 

men.     Joseph  Warton  had  heard  of  all  passed  through  Steele's  hands  to 

Addison's   being   so   nice,  that    he  the  printer,  is  proved  by  old  Richard 

would   even   stop   the   press   when  Nutt,  who  worked  in  the  ofiice  of 

nearly  the  whole  impression  of  the  his  father,  Moi-phew's  partner,  John 


Steele.~\  a  new  fund  of  wit.  237 

the  matter,  the  same  inexhaustible  variety  in  the  form. 
And  upon  all  the  keen  exposure  of  vice,  or  the  pleasant 
laugh  at  folly ;  as  prominent  in  the  lifelike  little  story, 
as  in  the  criticism  of  an  actor  or  a  play ;  making  attractive 
the  gravest  themes  to  the  unthinking,  and  recommending 
the  lightest  fancies  to  the  most  grave ;  there  was  still  the 
old  and  ineffaceable  impress  of  good-nature  and  humanity 
— the  soul  of  a  sincere  man  shining  out  through  it  all. 
Let  any  one  read  the  uninterrupted  series  of  twenty-two 
Spectators,  which  Steele  daily  contributed  from  the  6th 
to  the  31st  of  August  1711,  and  doubt  his  title  to  a  full 
share  in  the  glory  and  fame  of  the  enterprise.  Try  his 
claim  to  participate  in  its  wit  and  character,  by  such 
papers  as  the  short-faced  gentleman's  experiences  (No.  4)  ; 
as  the  seven  he  inserted  in  the  series  of  Sir  Roger  de 
Coverley ;  as  those  numerous  sketches  of  Clubs  which 
his  touch  filled  with  such  various  life  ;  and  as  the  essays 
we  now  proceed  to  name.  On  Powell's  Puppet-Show 
(No.  14),  On  Ordinary  People  (No.  17),  On  Envious 
People  (No.  19),  On  Over-consciousness  and  Affectation 
(No.  38),  On  Coffee-house  Politicians  (No.  49),  On  Court 
Mournings  (No.  64),  On  the  Fine  Gentlemen  of  the  Stage 
(No.  65),  On  Coarse  Speaking  (No.  75),  On  the  Impro- 
vidence of  Jack  Truepenny  (No.  82),  On  the  Footmen  of 
the  House  of  Peers  (No.  88),  On  the  Portable  Quality  of 
Good  Humour  (No.  100),  On  Servants'  Letters  (No.  137), 
On  the  Man  of  Wit  and  Pleasure  (No.  151),  On  the 
Virtues  of  Self-denial  (No.  206  and  No.  248),  On  Mr. 
Antony  Freeman's  domestic  troubles,  and  on  Mr.  Tom 
Meggott's  share  therein  (Nos.  212  and  216),  in  which 
lies  the  whole  germ  of  the  capital  comedy  of  the  Jealous 
Wife,  On  Generous  Men  (No.  346),  On  Witty  Companions 


Nutt.  This  same  Richard  also  told  * '  which  he  saw  rapidly  written  by- 
Mr.  Nichols,  that  the  press  was  "Steele  at  midnight,  and  in  ted, 
stopped,  not  seldom,  by  want  of  copy,  "whilst  he  waited  to  carry  it  to 
for  which  Steele  was  responsible  ;  "  the  press."  Let  me  simply  add, 
and  that  in  these  cases  he  had  often  that  the  art  of  making  errata  in 
a  hard  task  to  find  out  Steele,  who  themselves  delightful,  and  of  turn- 
frequently  wrote  hastily  what  was  ing  the  correction  of  a  printer's 
needed,  in  a  room  at  the  printing-  error  into  a  new  spring  and  charm 
office.  *'  This  merry  old  man,  who  of  wit,  was  never  carried  to  such  a 
*'  died  but  lately,  mentioned  upon  perfection  as  by  Addison. 
"  recollection   a    particular    paper 


238 


ON  DICK  eastcourt's  DEATH.     \_Sir  Richat'd 


(JSTo.  258),  On  the  Comic  Actors  (No.  370),  On  Jack  Sippet 
(No.  448),  and  On  Yarious  Forms  of  Anger  (No.  438), 
with  its  whimsical  contrasts  of  imperturbability  and  wrath. 
Let  him  be  measured,  too,  in  graver  themes,  by  such 
papers  as  those  On  Living  to  our  own  Satisfaction  (No.  27), 
On  Female  Education  (No.  QQ\  On  the  Death  of  a  Friend 
(No.  133),  On  the  Fear  of  Death  (No.  152),  On  Youth 
and  Age  (No.  153),  On  the  Flogging  at  Public  Schools 
(No.  157),  On  Raffaelle's  Cartoons  (No.  226,)  and  On 
the  Death  of  the  Comedian  Eastcourt  (No.  468),  the 
last  one  of  his  most  characteristic,  wise,  and  beautiful 
pieces  of  writing.*  So  long  as  these  and  many  others 
survive,  there  will  be  no  need  to  strike  him  apart,  or 
judge  him.  aloof,  from  his  friend. 


^  I  subjoin  a  passage,  never  to  be 
quoted  too  often,  from  this  exquisite 


in  which,  describing  East- 
court's  astonishing  talents  for  loi- 
micry,  he  extracts  from  them  a  phi- 
losophy of  most  wise  and  general 
application  to  the  weakness  and 
self-love  of  us  all,  ' '  What  was  ■ '  he 
says   "peculiarly  excellent  in  this 

*  memorable  companion,  was,  that 
'  in  the  accounts  he  gave  of  persons 
'  and  sentiments,  he  did  not  only 

*  hit  the  figure  of  their  faces,  and 
'  manner  of  their  gestures,  but  he 
'  would  in  his  narrative  fall  into 
'  their  very  way  of  thinking  ;  and 

*  this  when  he  recounted  passages 
'  wherein  men  of  the  best  wit  were 

*  concerned,  as  well  as  such  wherein 
'  were  represented  men  of  the  lowest 
'  rank  of  understanding.  It  is 
'  certainly  as  great  an  instance  of 
'  self-love  to  a  weakness,  to  be  im- 
'  patient  of  being  mimick'd,  as  any 
'  can  be  imagined.  There  were 
'  none  but  the  vain,   the  formal, 

*  the  proud,  or  those  who  were  in- 

*  capable  of  amending  their  faults, 
'  that  dreaded  him  ;  to  others  he 
'  was  in  the  highest  degree  pleas- 
'  ing  ;  and  I  do  not  know  any  sa- 

*  tisfaction  of  any  indifferent  kind 
'  I  ever  tasted  so  much,  as  having 

*  got  over  an  impatience  of  my  see- 
'  ing  myself  in  the  air  he  could  put 
'  me  when  I  have  displeased  him. 


'  It  is,  indeed,  to  his  exquisite  talent 
'  this  way,  more  than  any  philoso- 
'  phy  I  could  read  on  the  subject, 
'  that  ray  person  is  very  little  of 
'  my  care  ;  and  it  is  indifferent  to 
'  me  what  is  said  of  my  shape,  my 
'  air,  my  manner,  my  speech,  or 
'  my  address.  It  is  to  poor  East- 
'  court  I  chiefly  owe,  that  I  am 
'•  arrived  at  the  happiness  of  think- 

■  ing  nothing  a  diminution  to  me, 

■  but  what  argues  a  depravity  of 
'  my  will.  .  .  I  have  been  present 

■  with  him  among  men  of  the  most 
'  delicate  taste  a  whole  night,  and 
'  have  known  him  (for  he  saw  it 

■  was  desired)  keep  the  discourse 
'•  to  himself  the  most  part  of  it, 

■  and  maintain  his  good  humour 

■  with  a  countenance,  in  a  language 

•  so  delightful,  without  offence  to 

■  any  person  or  thing  upon  earth, 

•  still  preserving  the  distance  his 

■  circumstances  obliged  him  to  ; — 
'  I  say,  I  have  seen  him  do  all  this 
'  in  such  a  charming  manner,  that 
'  I  am  sure  none  of  those  I  hint  at 

will  read  this,  without  giving 
him  some  sorrow  for  their  abun- 
dant mirth,  and  one  gush  of  tears 
for  so  many  bursts  of  laughter. 
I  wish  it  were  any  honour  to  the 
pleasant  creature's  memory,  that 
my  eyes  are  too  much  suffused  to 
let  me  go  on — " 


Steele  ]      spectator's  unexampled  success.  239 

Nothing  in  England  had  ever  equalled  the  success  of 
the  Spectator.  It  sold,  in  numbers  and  volumes,  to  an 
extent  almost  fabulous  in  those  days  ;  and  when  Boling- 
broke's  stamp  carried  Grub-street  by  storm,  it  was  the 
solitary  survivor  of  that  famous  siege.  Doubling  its 
price,  it  yet  fairly  held  its  ground ;  and  at  its  close  it  was 
not  only  paying  Government  29/  a  week  on  account  of 
the  halfpenny  stamp  upon  the  numbers  sold,  but  had  a 
circulation  in  volumes  of  nearly  ten  thousand.  Altogether, 
it  must  often  have  circulated  before  the  stamp,  thirty 
thousand,  which  might  be  multiplied  by  six  to  give  a 
corresponding  popularity  in  our  day.  Nevertheless  Steele 
had  been  for  some  time  uneasy  and  restless.  Thus  far,  with 
reasonable  fidelity,  the  armistice  on  his  side  had  been  kept ; 
but  from  day  to  day,  at  what  he  believed  to  be  the  thick- 
ening of  a  plot  against  public  liberty,  he  found  it  more  and 
more  difficult  to  observe  the  due  restraints ;  and  not  seldom 
latterly,  perhaps  in  spite  of  himself,  his  thoughts  took  the 
direction  of  politics.  "  He  has  been  mighty  impertinent 
*^  of  late  in  his  Spectators,"  wrote  Swift  to  Stella,  "  and 
"  I  believe  he  will  very  soon  lose  his  employment."  That 
was,  to  Steele,  the  last  and  least  thing  at  present.  What 
he  wanted,  was  a  certain  freedom  for  himself  which  hardly 
consisted  with  the  plan  of  the  Spectator;  and  he  therefore 
resolved  to  substitute  an  entirely  new  set  of  characters. 
He  closed  it  in  December  1712,  and  he  announced  a  new 
daily  paper,  called  the  Guardian,  for  the  following  March. 

Into  this  new  paper,  to  which  Addison  (engaged  in 
preparing  Cato  for  the  stage)  did  not  for  a  considerable 
time  contribute,  he  carried  the  services  of  the  young  poet 
whose  surprising  genius  was  now  the  talk  of  the  town. 
Steele  had  recognised  at  once  Pope's  surpassing  merit, 
and  in  his  friendly  critic  Pope  welcomed  a  congenial 
friend.  He  submitted  verses  to  him,  altered  them  to  his 
pleasure,  wrote  a  poem  at  his  request,  and  protested 
himself  more  eager  to  be  called  his  little  friend,  Dick 
Distich,  than  to  be  complimented  with  the  title  of  a 
great  genius  or  an  eminent  hand.'     He  was  so  recreated, 

^  An  accomplished  friend  of  mine  Correspondence  professing  to  have 

(in  Athenctum  and  Notes  and  Que-  been  interchanged  between  himself 

ries)  has  succeeded  in  establishing  and  Steele  at    this   time,    and   on 

that  the  various  letters  in   Pope's  which  the  statement  in  the  text  is 


240  QUARREL   WITH   SWIFT.  [♦S/V  Rtchavd 

in  short,  as  lie  afterwards  wrote  to  Addison,  with  "  the 
"  brisk  sallies  and  quick  turns  of  wit  which  Mr.  Steele 
"  in  his  liveliest  and  freest  humours  darts  about  him," 
that  he  did  not  immediately  foresee  the  consequence  of 
engaging  with  so  ardent  a  politician.  Accordingly,  just 
as  Swift  broke  out  into  open  quarrel  with  his  old  asso- 
ciate, we  find  Pope  confessing  that  many  honest  Jacobites 
were  taking  it  very  ill  of  him  that  he  continued  to  write 
with  Steele. 

The  dispute  with  Swift  need  not  detain  us.  It  is 
enough  if  we  use  it  to  show  Steele's  spirit  as  a  gentleman, 
who  could  not  retort  an  injustice,  or  fight  wrong  with 
wrong.  When,  after  a  very  few  months,  he  stood  up  in  the 
House  of  Commons  to  justify  himself  from  libels  which 
had  exhausted  the  language  of  scurriHty  in  heaping  insult 
upon  him  and  his,  the  only  personal  remark  he  made  was 
to  quote  a  handsome  tribute  he  had  formerly  ofi'ered  to 
their  writer,  with  this  manly  addition :  "  The  gentleman 
"  I  here  intended  was  Dr.  Swift.  This  kind  of  man  I 
'*  thought  him  at  that  time  :  we  have  not  met  of  late,  but 
"  I  hope  he  deserves  this  character  still."  And  why  was 
he  thus  tender  of  Swift  ?  He  avowed  the  reason  in  the 
last  paper  of  the  JEnglishman,  where  he  says  that  he  knew 
his  old  friend's  sensibility  of  reproach  to  be  such,  that  he 
would  be  unable  to  bear  life  itself  under  half  the  ill  lan- 
guage he  had  given  to  others.  Swift  himself  had  formerly 
described  to  Steele  those  early  days  when  he  possessed  the 
sensitive  fear  of  libel  to  an  extraordinary  degree,  and  this 
had  not  been  forgotten  by  his  generous  adversary. 

But  what  really  was  at  issue  in  their  quarrel  ought  to 
be  stated,  since  it  forms  the  point  of  departure  taken  by 
Steele,  not  simply  from  those  who  differed  but  from  many 
who  agreed  with  him  in  politics.'^'  Principles  are  out  of 
"  the  case,"  said  Swift,  "  we  dispute  wholly  about  per- 
"  sons."  "  No,"  rejoined  Steele,  "  the  dispute  is  not 
"  about  persons  and  parties,  but  things  and  causes^'^?' 
Such  had  been  the  daring  conduct  of  the  men  in  po\^^, 
and  such  their  insolent  success,  that  Steele,  at  a  time 

based,  only  assumed  their  existing  truth  generally  is  expressed  in  those 

shape  in  later  years,  when  it  suited  letters,  as  to  the  relations  now  sub- 

Pope's  purpose   so   to   place  them  sisting  between  Pope  and  bteele,  I 

before  the  world.      But  that  the  entertain  no  doubt. 


Sieele.~\  in  the  house  of  commons.  241 

■when  few  had  the  courage  to  speak  out,  did  not  scruple 
to  declare  what  he  believed  to  be  their  ultimate  design. 
"  Nothing,"  he  wrote  to  his  wife  some  few  months  after 
the  present  date,  "nothing  but  Divine  Providence  can 
"  prevent  a  Civil  War  within  a  few  years."  Swift  laughed, 
and  said  Steele's  head  had  been  turned  by  the  success  of 
his  papers,  and  that  he  thought  himself  mightily  more  im- 
portant than  he  really  was.  This  may  have  been  so ;  but 
whatever  imaginary  value  he  gave  himself,  he  was  at  least 
ready  to  risk,  for  the  supposed  duty  he  thought  also  in- 
cumbent on  him.  Nor  was  it  little  for  him,  in  his  posi- 
tion at  that  time,  to  surrender  literature  for  politics ;  to 
resign  his  Commissionership  of  Stamps  ;  and  to  enter  the 
House  of  Commons.  He  did  not  require  Pope  to  point 
him  out  lamentingly  to  Congreve,  as  a  great  instance  of 
the  fate  of  all  who  are  so  carried  away,  with  the  risk  of 
being  not  only  punished  by  the  other  party  but  of  suffer- 
ing from  their  own.  Even  from  the  warning  of  Addison, 
that  his  zeal  for  the  public  might  be  ruinous  to  himself, 
he  had  turned  silently  aside.  Not  a  day  now  passed 
that  the  most  violent  scurrilities  were  not  directed  against 
his  pen  and  person,  in  which  one  of  Swift's  "under- 
"  writers,"  Wagstaff,  made  himself  conspicuous ;  and 
CoUey  Cibber  laughs  at  the  way  in  which  these  scribes 
were  already  labouring  to  transfer  to  his  friend  Addison 
the  credit  of  all  his  Tatlers  and  Spectators.  Nevertheless 
he  went  steadily  on.  "  It  is  not  for  me,"  he  remarked  with 
much  dignity,  "  to  say  how  I  write  or  speak,  but  it  is  for 
"  me  to  say  I  do  both  honestly ;  and  when  I  threw  away 
"  some  fame  for  letters  and  politeness,  to  serve  the  nobler 
"  ends  of  justice  and  government,  I  did  not  do  it  with 
"  a  design  to  be  as  negligent  of  wh^t  should  be  said  of 
''  me  with  relation  to  my  integrity,  -^o,  wit  and  humour 
*'  are  the  dress  and  ornament  of  the  mind  ;  but  honesty 
"  and  truth  are  the  soul  itself'  We  may,  or  may  not, 
think  Steele  discreet  in  the  choice  he  made  ;  but  of  his 
sincerity  and  disinterestedness,  there  ought  to  be  no  doubt 
whatever. 

When  at  last,  upon  the  publication  of  his  Crisis,  which 
was  but  the  sequel  to  those  papers  in  the  Guardian  that 
led  to  his  election  for  Stockbridge,  the  motion  was  made 
to  expel  him  for  ha\ing  "  maliciously  insinuated  that  the 


242/  DEATH   OF    QUEEN   ANNE.  [S/V  Richurd 

xtrotestant  succession  in  the  House  of  Hanover  is  in 
"  danger  under  her  Majesty's  administration/'  the  Whigs 
rallied  to  his  support  with  what  strength  they  could. 
Eobert  Walpole  and  General  Stanhope  took  their  place 
on  either  side  of  him  as  he  waited  at  the  bar,  and  Addison 
prompted  him  throughout  his  spirited  and  temperate  de- 
ience.//He  spoke,  says  one  who  heard  him,  for  near  three 
hours;  with  such  temper,  eloquence,  and  unconcern,  as 
gave  entire  satisfaction  to  all  who  were  not  prepossessed 
against  him.  But  perhaps  the  most  interesting  occur- 
rence of  that  memorable  day  was  the  speech  of  Lord 
Finch.  This  young  nobleman,  afterwards  famous  as  a 
minister  and  orator,  owed  gratitude  to  Steele  for  having 
repelled  in  the  Guardian  a  libel  on  his  sister,  and  he  rose 
to  make  his  maiden  speech  in  defence  of  her  defender. 
But  bashfulness  overcame  him ;  and  after  a  few  confused 
sentences  he  sat  down,  crying  out  as  he  did  so,  "It  is 
"  strange  I  cannot  speak  for  this  man,  though  I  could 
"  readily  fight  for  him !  "  Upon  this,  such  cheering  rang 
through  the  House,  that  suddenly  the  young  lord  took 
heart,  rose  again,  and  made  the  first  of  a  long  series  of 
telling  and  able  speeches.  Of  course,  however,  it  did"  not 
save  Steele,  who  was  expelled  by  a  majority  of  nearly  a 
hundred  in  a  house  of  four  hundred  members. 
<^t  was  a  short-lived  triumph,  we  need  hardly  say. 
Soon  came  the  blow  which  struck  down  that  tyrant  ma- 
jority, dispersed  its  treason  into  air,  consigned  Oxford  to 
the  Tower,  and  drove  Bolingbroke  into  exile.  Eagerly 
Steele  wrote  to  his  wife  from  the  St.  James's  coffeehouse, 
on  the  31st  of  July  1714,  that  the  Queen  was  dead»;  It 
was  a  mistake,  but  she  died  next  day.  Three  days  later, 
he  writes  from  the  Thatched-house,  St.  James's,  that  he 
has  been  loaded^with  compliments  by  the  Regents,  and 
assured  of  soja^hing  immediately.  Yet  it  was  but  little 
he  obtained,  '^e  received  a  place  in  the  household  (Sur- 
vey orship  of  the  royal  Stables) ;  was  placed  in  the  com- 
mission of  peace  for  Middlesex;  and,  on  subsequently 
:9ing  up  with  an  address  from  that  county,  was  knighte^^ 
L  little  before  he  became  Sir  Hichard,  however,  the  mem- 
ber for  Truro  resigned  the  supervision  of  the  Theatre 
Royal  (then  a  government  office,  entitling  to  a  share  in 
the  patent,  and  worth  seven  or  eight  hundred  a  year),  and 


SUeIe.~\  IN   OPFICE    AT   DRURY   LANE.  243 

the  players  so  earnestly  petitioned  for  Steele  as  his  suc- 
cessor, that  he  was  named  to  the  offijj^j^"  His  spirits 
"  took  such  a  lively  turn  upon  it,"  says  Cibber,  "  that, 
"  had  we  been  all  his  own  sons,  no  unexpected  act  of  filial 
"  duty  could  have  more  endeared  us  to  him.'*  Whatever 
the  coldness  elsewhere  might  be,  here,  at  any  rate,  was 
warmth  enough.  Benefits  past  were  not  benefits  forgot, 
with  those  lively  good-natured  men.  They  remembered, 
as  Cibber  tells  us,  when  a  criticism  in  the  Tatler  used  to 
fill  their  theatre  at  a  time  when  nothing  else  could  ;  and 
they  knew  that  not  a  comedian  among  them  *  but  owed 
something  to  Eichard  Steele,  whose  good  nature  on  one 
occasion  had  even  consented  that  Doggett  should  announce 
the  Tatler  as  intending  to  be  bodily  present  at  his  benefit, 
and  had  permitted  him  to  dress  a  fictitious  Isaac  Bicker- 
stafi"  as  himself,  for  amusement  of  the  crowded  house.^ 
-,  The  politicians  Steele  certainly  foun.d  less  mindful  of 
the  past  than  the  players.  But,  if  we  show  that  the  course 
he  took  in  the  prosperous  days  of  Whiggism  difi'ered  in 
no  respect  from  that  which  he  had  taken  in  its  adverse 
days,  some  excuse  may  perhaps  suggest  itself  for  the  dis- 
pensers of  patronage  and  of&ce.  He  entered  Parliament 
for  Boroughbridge,  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  having  given 
him  his  interest  there  ;  and  for  some  time,  and  with  some 

'  I  have  spoken  of  this  already  ;  "  others  on  the  stage  were  made 
but  I  may  here  add  that  the  most  *'  to  appear  real  great  peisons,  and 
humble,  as  well  as  the  highest,  ob-  *'  not  representatives.  This  was  a 
tained  his  good  word  ;  and  it  would  "  nicety  in  acting  that  none  but 
be  difficult  to  give  a  better  instance,  **  the  most  subtle  player  could  so 
in  a  few  lines,  at  once  of  his  kindness  *'  much  as  conceive." 
and  his  genius  as  a  critic  of  players,  ^  This  was  on  Monday  the  16th 
than  by  what  he  says  of  a  small  of  January  1709-10,  Mr.  Bickerstaff 
actor  of  Betterton's  time:  "Mr.  having  gravely  promised  in  Satu^- 
* '  William  Peer  distinguished  him-  day's  Tatler,  in  reply  to  a  letter 
**  self  particularly  in  two  charac-  from  Doggett  saying  it  would  bring 
**  ters,  which  no  man  ever  could  him  the  greatest  house  since  the 
'*  touch  but  himself.  One  of  them  visit  of  the  Morocco  ambassador, 
"was  the  speaker  of  the  pro-  that  he'd  come  in  between  the  first 
"  logue  to  the  play  which  is  con-  and  second  act  of  Love  for  Love 
"  trived  in  the  tragedy  of  Hamlet,  (pleased  at  his  choice,  he  told  him, 
"to  awake  the  conscience  of  the  of  so  excellent  a  play,  and  looking 
"  guilty  princess,  Mr.  William  on  him  as  the  best  of  comedians), 
*'  Peer  spoke  that  preface  to  the  and  would  remain  in  the  R.  H.  box 
* '  play  with  such  an  air  as  repre-  over  the  pit  until  the  end  of  the 
"  sented  that  he  was  an  actor  ;  and  fourth  act.  The  applause  at  the 
"  with  such  au  inferior  manner  as  fictitious  Isaac's  appearance  was 
"  only  acting  an   actor,    that  the  tremendous. 

B  2 


244  HOUSE  OF  COMMONS  DEBATES.       \_Sir  Richurd 

success  as  a  speaker,  lie  took  part  in  the  debates.  To 
judge  from  his  criticism  on  orators,  one  might  suppose 
himself  to  have  been  a  proficient  in  the  art ;  and  he  was 
doubtless  more  than  an  average  speaker.  He  knew  how 
to  avoid,  at  any  rate,  what  he  points  out  as  a  great  error 
committed  by  the  speakers  of  his  day,  in  confounding 
oratory  with  passion,  and  thinking  the  si  vis  me  flere  as 
applicable  in  the  one  as  in  the  other  case.  If  any  man 
would  exert  an  uncontrolled  influence  over  those  who 
listen  to  him,  said  Steele,  never  let  him  lose  control  over 
himself.  This  was  no  great  period  for  oratory,  however. 
No  successor  had  yet  appeared  to  Henry  St.  John  in  the 
Commons,  nor  even  to  Eobert  Harley. ;  Steele  wittily 
described  the  House,  at  the  time,  as  consisting  very  much 
of  silent  people  oppressed  by  the  choice  of  a  great  deal  to 
say,  and  of  eloquent  people  ignorant  that  what  they  said 
was  nothing  to  the  purpose ;  and  as  it  was,  he  tells  us,  his 
own  ambition  to  speak  only  what  he  thought,  so  it  wai 
his  weakness  to  think  such  a  course  might  have  its  use 
Undoubtedly  such  a  course  he  did  absolutely  take ;  no^ 
does  he  at  any  time  seem,  out  of  deference  to  party  or 
its  prejudices,  to  have  compmmised  a  single  opinion 
sincerely  entertained  by  him„^ 

^-  He  attacked  every  attempt  to  give  power  to  the  Church 
independent  of  the  State  ;  he  held  that  all  eagerness  in 
clergymen  to  grasp  at  exorbitant  power,  was  but  popery 
in  another  form  ;  *  and  he  created  much  ofi'ence  by  declar- 
ing that,  if  Eome  pretended  to  be  infallible  and  England 

^  A  further  remark  made  by  him  **  ciety  ;  and  (what  was  the  most 

in  the  course  of  this  argument  is  "  melancholy   part   of  the   whole) 

well  worth  attention  and  reflection  ' '  that  Protestants  "  (he  is  speaking 

in  the  present  day.      **I  am  now  of  the  extreme  High  Church  party) 

"  brought,"  he  says,  "  by  the  natu-  ' '  must  be  reduced  to  the  absurdity 

"  ral  course  of  such  thoughts,    to  "of  renouncing  Protestant  as  well 

"  examine  into  the  conduct  of  Chris-  "as    Christian    Principles,    before 

"  tians,  and  particularly  of  Protest-  "they  can  pretend  to  make  their 

"  ants  of  all  sorts.    One  thing  drew  "practices    and    their   professions 

"  on  another:  and.  as  little  conversant  "consistent.      This   I   resolved  to 

"  as  I  have  heretofore  been  in  such  "  represent ;   and    have    done    it, 

"matters,    I   quickly  found    that  "  without  regard  to  any  one  sort  of 

"  Christianity  was  neither  unintel-  "  them  more  than  another.     lam 

"  ligible,  nor  ill-natured  ;  that  the  "  mox-e  and  more  persuaded,  every 

"  Gospel  does  not  invade  the  rights  "  day,  that  it  is  fitting  to  under- 

**  of  mankind,  nor  invest  any  men  "stand    Religion,    as    well   as   to 

"  with  authority  destructive  to  so-  "  praise  it." 


Steele.'^  caheer  as  a  politician.  245 

to  be  always  in  the  right,  lie  saw  little  difference  between 
the  two// In  his  prosperity  Harley  had  no  assailant  more 
bitter,  and  in  his  adversity  no  more  generous  opponent, 
than  Steele.  ''I  transgressed,  my  lord,  against  you," 
he  said,  "  when  you  could  make  twelve  peers  in  a  day  ;  I 
"  ask  your  pardon  when  you  are  a  private  nobleman." 
As  he  had  fought  the  Schism  bill  under  the  Tories,  under 
the  Whigs  he  pleaded  for  toleration  to  the  Eoman  Catho- 
lics. "  I  suppose  this,"  he  wrote  to  his  wife,  "  gave  a 
"  handle  to  the  fame  of  my  being  a  Tory ;  but  you  may 
"  perhaps  by  this  time  have  heard  that  I  am  turned  Pres- 
"  byterian,  for  the  same  day,  in  a  meeting  of  a  hundred 
"  parKament-me^,  I  laboured  as  much  for  the  Protestant 
"  Dissenters. '^^0  man  was  so  bitter  against  the  Jacobites, 
as  long  as  any  chance  of  their  success  remained  ;  but  none 
so  often  or  so  successfully  interceded  on  their  behalf  for 
mercy,  when  the  day  had  gone  against  them^The  mis- 
chief of  the  South  Sea  scheme  was  by  Steelie  more  than 
any  man  exposed ;  but,  for  such  of  the  Directors  as  had 
themselves  been  its  dupes,  no  man  afterwards  spoke  so 
charitably.  Walpole  had  befriended  him  most  on  the 
question  of  his  expulsion,  and  he  admired  him  more  than 
any  other  politician  ;  yet  he  alone  in  the  House  spoke 
against  Walpole's  proposition  about  the  Debt,  "  because 
"  he  did  not  think  the  way  of  doing  it  just."  Addison 
was  the  man  he  to  the  last  admired  the  most,  and,  not- 
withstanding any  recurring  coolness  or  difference,  loved 
the  most  on  earth  ;  but,  on  the  question  of  Lord  Sunder- 
land's Peerage  bill,  he  joined  Walpole  against  Addison, 
and  with  tongue  and  pen  so  actively  promoted  the  defeat 
of  that  mischievous  measure,  that  we  may  even  yet,  on 
this  score,  hold  ourselves  to  be  his  debtors. 

To  this  rapid  sketch  of  Steele's  career  as  a  politician, 
it  might  seem  superfluous  to  add  his  complaint  against 
those  who  neglected  him,  or  that,  when  the  Duke  of 
Newcastle  had  been  so  mean  as  to  punish  his  opposition 
to  the  Peerage  bill  by  depriving  him  of  his  Drury-lane 
appointment  (to  which,  we  may  interpose,  he  was  restored 
as  soon  as  Walpole  returned  to  office),  he  should  thus 
have  written  to  Lady  Steele  :  "  I  am  talking  to  my  wife, 
"  and  therefore  may  speak  my  heart,  and  the  vanity  of  it. 
'*  I  know,  and  you  are  witness,  that  I  have  served  the 


?i46  DULL  MR.  WILLIAM  WHisTON.     \_Sir  Richmd 

"  Eoyal  Family  witli  an  nnreservedness  due  only  to 
"  Heaven  ;  and  I  am  now  (I  thank  my  brother  Whigs) 
"  not  possessed  of  twenty  shillings  from  the  favour  of  the 
"  Court."  But  neither  should  we  attempt  to  conceal,  that 
a  man  of  a  different  temperament  and  more  self-control 
would  hardly  at  this  time,  after  all  the  opportunities  his 
own  genius  had  opened  to  him,  have  needed  the  exercise, 
or  have  complained  of  the  absence,  of  such  "  favour." 

So  it  was,  however ;  and  we  must  take  the  man  even  as 
he  was,  subject  to  all  the  remarks  which  duller  men  in 
his  own  day,  or  greater  men  since,  may  have  thought 
themselves  entitled  to  make  upon  him.  Such  remarks  do 
not  then  seem  to  have  troubled  him  very  much,  and  per- 
haps his  reputation  may  survive  them  now.  On  the  day 
after  his  speech  in  the  House  of  Commons  interceding  for 
mercy  to  the  South  Sea  Directors,  Mr.  William  Whiston, 
for  whom  also  he  had  interceded  formerly  when  in  straits 
hardly  less  difficult,  met  him  at  Button's.  "  Why,  Sir 
"  Richard,"  said  the  worthy  man,  "  they  say  you  have 
"  been  making  a  speech  in  the  House  for  the  South  Sea 
"  directors."  "  Well,"  said  he  quietly,  "  they  do  say  so." 
To  which  Whiston,  who  confesses  that  he  had  been  a  little 
nettled  personally  some  time  before  by  a  ludicrous  remark 
of  Sir  Richard's,  made  the  somewhat  illogical  reply, 
"  Then  how  does  this  agree  with  your  former  writing 
"  against  the  scheme  ? "  "  Mr.  Whiston,"  rejoined 
Steele,  "  you  can  walk  on  foot,  and  I  can  not."  Of 
course  the  dull  man  tells  the  anecdote  by  way  of  showing 
that  Steele  could  change  his  opinions  for  his  interest,  but 
that  is  not  the  construction  any  well-informed  reader  will 
put  upon  it.  To  look  after  his  own  interest  at  any  time, 
was  the  very  last  thing  Steele  ever  thought  of  doing ;  and 
as  to  the  matter  in  question,  it  was  notorious  that  in 
speaking  for  Lord  Stanhope  and  the  other  misguided 
men,  he  discharged  himself  only  of  a  debt  of  kindness  that 
could  have  no  effect,  save  such  as  might  be  unfavour- 
able, upon  his  own  fortune.  It  was  simply  his  wit 
and  good  breeding  that  politely  had  declined  debate, 
and  left  Mr.  Whiston  in  the  enjoyment  of  his  own  sordid 
fancy. 

Very  far  indeed  from  such  admission  as  any  such  fancy 
would  father  on  him,  that  he  owed  to  the  ministers  the 


Steele. '\  treatment  by  the  whigs.  247 

coach  lie  rode  in,  are  those  repeated  complaints,  at  this 
very  time,  of  the  utter  absence  of  all  ministers'  favours, 
which  might  more  wisely  perhaps,  with  a  little  dignity 
and  self-denial,  have  been  spared.  This  we  have  already 
said,  though  we  will^ot  say  that  the  complaints  were 
altogether  unjust.  The  Whigs  treated  Steele  badly. 
They  never  sufficiently  remembered  the  actual  service  he 
had  rendered  them,  and  their  cause,  when  actual  danger 
was  abroad.^  Nor  was  he  without  ample  justification  for 
the  statement  he  left  on  record  against  them,  in  his  Apo- 
logue of  the  husbandman  and  the  bridge ;  with  which  the 
subject  may  be  left, also  in  these  pages.  There  was,  he 
said,  a  certain  husbandman  in  a  certain  kingdom,  who 
lived  in  a  certain  place  under  a  certain  hill,  near  a  certain 
bridge.  This  poor  man  was  a  little  of  a  scholar,  being 
given  to  country  learning,  such  as  astrological  predictions 
of  the  weather,  and  the  like ;  and  one  night,  in  one  of 
those  musings  of  his  about  his  house,  he  saw  a  party  of 
soldiers  belonging  to  a  prince  in  enmity  with  his  own, 
coming  towards  the  bridge.  Off  he  immediately  ran,  and 
drew  up  that  part  which  is  called  the  draw-bridge.  Then, 
calling  his  family,  and  getting  his  cattle  together,  he  put 
forward  his  plough,  behind  that  his  stools,  and  his  chairs 
behind  them  ;  and  by  this  means  stopped  the  march  till 
it  was  day-Hght,  when  all  the  neighbouring  lords  and 
gentlemen,  being  roused  by  this  time  and  thoroughly 
waked  from  sleep,  were  able  to  see  the  enemy  as  well  as 
he.  Hereupon,  with  undoubted  gallantry  and  spirit, 
they  crowded  on  to  oppose  the  foe,  and  in  their  zeal  and 
hurry,  pitching  our  poor  husbandman  over-bridge,  and 
his  goods  after  him,  they  most  effectually  kept  out  the 
invaders.  And  a  great  mercy  was  that  accident,  for  it 
was  nothing  less  than  the  safety  of  the  kingdom.  There- 
fore ought  no  one,  pursues  the  author  of  the  Apologue, 
to  be  discomfited  from  the  public  service,  by  what  had 
happened  to  this  rustic.  For,  though  he  was  neglected 
at  the  present,  and  every  man  said  he  was  an  honest 
fellow  and  no  one's  enemy  but  his  own  in  exposing  his 
all,  and  though  nobody  said  he  was  every  one's  friend  but 
his  own,  still  the  man  had  ever  after  the  liberty,  the  in- 
valuable liberty  and  privilege,  that  he,  and  no  other  but 
he  and  his  family,  should  beg  on  the  bridge  in  aU  times 


248     everyone's  friend  but  his  own.     \_Sir  Richard 

following.  And  lie  is  begging  on  the  bridge  accordingly 
to  this  very  hour. 

It  is  not  our  desire  to  extenuate  the  failings  of  Sir 
Richard  Steele,  the  begging  on  the  bridge  included; 
nor  have  we  sought  to  omit  them  from  this  picture  of 
his  career.  But  his  claim  to  have  had  more  liberal  con- 
sideration, is  quite  apart  from  the  question  of  whether 
he  would  himself  have  been  likely  very  greatly  to  profit 
by  it.  We  much  doubt  if  he  would.  His  genius,  and 
the  means  then  open  to  it,  might  have  sufficed  for  all  his 
wants,  if  in  a  worldly  sense  he  could  have  been  more  true 
to  his  own  opportunities.  But  it  was  unhappily  of  the 
very  essence  of  his  character,  that  any  present  social 
impression  took,  so  far,  the  place  of  all  previous  moral 
resolutions;  and  that,  bitterly  as  he  had  often  felt  the 
"  shot  of  accident  and  the  dart  of  chance,"  he  still 
thought  them  carelessly  to  be  brushed  aside  by  the  smiling 
face  and  heedless  hand.  No  man's  projects  for  fortune 
had  so  often  failed,  yet  none  were  so  often  renewed. 
Indeed  the  very  art  of  his  genius  told  against  him  in  his 
life ;  and  that  he  could  so  readily  disentangle  his  thoughts 
from  what  most  gave  them  pain  and  uneasiness,  and 
direct  his  sensibility  at  will  to  flow  into  many  channels, 
had  the  reverse  of  a  favouring  tendency  towards  the 
balance  at  his  banker's.  But  such  a  man  is  no  example 
of  improvidence  for  others.  Its  ordinary  warnings  come 
within  quite  another  class  of  cases ;  and,  even  in  stating 
what  is  least  to  be  commended  in  Steele,  there  is  no  need 
to  omit  what  in  his  case  will  justify  some  exceptional 
consideration  of  it.  At  least  we  have  the  example  of 
a  bishop  to  quote,  for  as  much  good  nature  as  we  can  spare. 

Doctor  Hoadly,  the  Bishop  of  Bangor,  was  a  steady  friend 
of  Steele's,  and  consented  ultimately  to  act  as  executor 
and  guardian  to  his  children.  He  accompanied  him  and 
Addison  one  day  to  a  Whig  celebration  of  King  William's 
anniversary,  and  became  rather  grave  to  see  the  lengths 
at  which  the  festivity  threatened  to  arrive.  In  the  midst 
of  his  misgivings,  in  came  a  humble  but  facetious  Whig 
on  his  knees,  with  a  tankard  of  ale  in  his  hand;  drank  it 
off  to  the  immortal  memory;  and  tben,  still  in  his  kneeling 
posture,  managed  to  shuffle  out.  "  Do  laugh,"  whispered 
Steele  to  the  bishop,  next  to  whom  he  sat,  **  it's  humanity 


Steele.']         blenheim  and  grub  street.  249 

"  to  laugh."  For  which,  humane  episcopal  exertion, 
carried  to  a  yet  higher  tolerance  in  his  own  case  at  a  later 
period  of  the  evening,  Steele  sent  him  next  morning  this 
pleasant  couplet, 

"  Virtue  with  so  much  ease  on  Bangor  sits, 
All  faults  he  pardons,  though  he  none  commits." 

In  another  humorous  anecdote  of  this  date,  Hoadly  was 
also  an  actor  with  Steele.  They  went  together  on  a  visit 
to  Blenheim,  and  sat  next  each  other  at  a  private  play  got 
up  for  the  amusement  of  the  great  Duke,  now  lapsing  into 
his  last  illness ;  when,  as  they  both  observed  how  well  a 
love-scene  was  acted  by  the  Duke's  aide-de-camp,  Captain 
Fishe,  "  I  doubt  this  fish  is  flesh,  my  Lord,"  whispered 
Steele.  On  going  away,  they  had  to  pass  through  an 
army  of  laced  coats  and  ruffles  in  the  hall ;  and  as  the 
Bishop  was  preparing  the  usual  fees,  "  I  have  not 
"  enough,"  cried  his  companion,  and  much  to  the  episcopal 
discomposure  proceeded  to  address  the  footmen,  told  them 
he  had  been  much  struck  by  the  good  taste  with  which 
he  had  seen  them  applauding  in  the  right  places  up 
stairs,  and  invited  them  all  gratis  to  Drury-lane  theatre, 
to  whatever  play  they  might  like  to  bespeak. 

At  this  date  it  was,  too,  that  young  Savage,  for  whom 
Wilks  had  produced  a  comedy  at  Drury-lane,  was  kindly 
noticed  and  greatly  assisted  by  Steele ;  though  all  the 
stories  of  him  that  were  afterwards  told  to  Johnson  by 
his  ill-fated  friend,  only  showed  how  sorely  poor  Sir 
Richard  needed  assistance  himself.  He  surprised  Savage 
one  day  by  carrying  him  in  his  coach  to  a  tavern,  and 
dictating  a  pamphlet  to  him,  which  he  was  sent  out 
into  Grub-street  to  sell ;  when  he  found  that  Sir  Richard 
had  only  retired  for  the  day  to  avoid  his  creditors,  and 
had  composed  the  pamphlet  to  pay  his  reckoning. 
Johnson  also  beHeved,  on  the  same  authority,  that  at 
one  of  Steele's  great  dinner  parties  he  had  been  obhged 
to  dress  up  in  expensive  liveries,  and  to  turn  to  use  as 
additional  footmen,  certain  bailiffs  whose  attendance, 
though  unavoidable,  might  not  else  have  seemed  so 
creditable.'     It  was  from  Savage,  too,  Johnson  heard  the 

^  "I  have  heard,"  says  the  Ex-  *'  lustrious  person  who  having  a 
aminer  (No.  11),  "  of  a  certain  il-       "  guard  du  corps  that  forced  their 


250  BOND  ENFORCED  BY  ADDISON.     \_Sir  Rtchard 

story  of  the  bond  put  in  execution  against  his  friend  by 
Addison,  which  Steele  mentioned,  he  said,  with  tears  in 
his  eyes.  Not  so,  however,  did  Steele  tell  it  to  another 
friend,  Benjamin  Yictor,  who,  before  Savage's  relation 
was  made  public,  had  told  it  again  to  Garrick.  To  Yictor, 
Steele  said  that  certainly  his  bond  on  some  expensive 
furniture  had  been  put  in  force  ;  but  that,  from  the  letter 
he  received  with  the  surplus  arising  from  the  sale,  he 
knew  that  Addison  only  intended  a  friendly  warning 
against  a  manner  of  living  altogether  too  costly,  and  that, 
taking  it  as  he  believed  it  to  be  meant,  he  met  him 
afterwards  with  the  same  gaiety  of  temper  he  had  always 
shown. 

This  story  is  not  incredible,  we  think ;  and  to  invent, 
as  Mr.  Macaulay  has  done,  another  story  in  place  of  one 
so  well  authenticated,  involved  at  least  some  waste  of 
ingenuity.  One  may  fairly  imagine  such  an  incident 
following  not  long  after  the  accession  of  King  George, 
when,  in  his  new  house  in  York-buildings,  Steele  gave  an 
extravagant  entertainment  to  some  couple  of  hundred 
friends,  and  amused  his  guests  with  a  series  of  dramatic 
recitations,  which  (one  of  his  many  projects)  he  had  some 
thought  of  trying  on  an  extended  plan,  with  a  view  to  the 
more  regular  supply  of  trained  actors  for  the  stage.  For, 
though  Addison  assisted  at  this  entertainment,  and  even 
wrote  an  epilogue  ^  for  the  occasion  making  pleasant  mirth 
of  the  foibles  of  his  friend — 

*^\  The  Sage,  whose  guests  you  are  to-night,  is  known 
To  watch  the  public  weal,  though  not  his  own, "  &c.  / 

— nay,  though  we  can  hardly  doubt  that  he  showed  no 
reluctance  himself  to  partake  of  the  burgundy  and 
champagne,  Addison  may  yet  have  thought  it  no  un- 
friendly act  to  check  the  danger  of  any  frequent  repetition 
of  indulgences  in  that  direction.     And,  even  apart  from 

* '  attendance  upon  him,  put  them  but  it  was  certainly  written  by  Ad- 

'*  into  livery,  and  maintained  them  dison,  as  the  lines  themselves  bear 

**  as  his  servants  :  thus  answering  internal  proof.  It  was  first  printed, 

**  that  famous  question,  Quis  custo-  and  with  Addison's  name,   in  the 

*^clietipso8custodes?''  eighth  volume   of   that  now   rare 

^  Doctor  Drake   attributed    this  book,  Nichols's  Select  Collection  of 

epilogue  to  Steele  himself,  and  has  Poems. 
been  followed  by  subsequent  writers; 


Steele.'^  girls  and  boys.  251 

the  nights  they  now  very  frequently  passed  together 
at  Button's  new  coffee-house,  we  have  abundant  evidence 
that  the  friendly  relations,  though  certainly  not  all  the 
old  intimacy,  continued.  <0n  the  day  following  that  which 
Kfted  Addison  to  the  rank  of  Secretary  of  State,  Steele 
dined  with  him ;  and  on  the  next  day  he  wrote  to  his 
wife,  that  he  was  named  one  of  the  Commissioners  for 
Forfeited  Estates  in  Scotland./^ 

The  duties  of  this  office  took  him  much  from  home  in 
his  latter  years ;  and,  before  we  close  "vvith  the  brief 
mention  those  years  may  claim  from  us,  we  will  give  a 
parting  glance  at  what  his  home  had  now  become.  For 
the  greater  part  of  the  time  since  he  moved  from  Bury- 
street,  he  has  lived  in  Bloomsbury-square.  His  wife  has 
borne  him  four  children,  two  boys  and  two  girls,  of  whom 
the  eldest  boy,  Richard,  Lord  Halifax's  godson,  died  in 
childhood,  and  the  second,  Eugene,  a  few  years  before 
his  father.  His  girls  survived  him,  and  the  eldest  became 
Lady  Trevor.  The  old  sudden  alternations  of  sunshine 
and  storm  have  continued  between  himself  and  Prue. 
There  have  been  great  wants  and  great  enjoyments, 
much  peevishness  and  much  tenderness,  quarrels  and 
reconciliations  numberless ;  but  very  manifestly  also, 
on  the  whole,  the  children  have  brought  them  nearer 
to  each  other.  He  is  no  longer  his  dearest  Prue's 
alone,  but,  as  he  occasionally  signs  himself,  "Your — 
"  Betty — Dick — Eugene — Molly's — affectionate  Richard 
"  Steele."  At  his  own  request,  his  wife's  small  fortune  has 
been  settled  on  these  children  ;  and  one  of  her  letters  to 
him,  upon  the  result  of  this  arrangement  with  her  mother, 
appears  to  have  begun  with  the  expression  of  her  thank- 
fulness that  the  children  would  at  least  have  to  say 
hereafter  of  their  father  that  he  kept  his  integrity.  He 
gives  her  iacessant  reports  of  them,  when  she  happens  to 
be  absent.  He  tells  her  how  Moll,  who  is  the  noisiest 
little  creature  in  the  world,  and  as  active  as  a  boy, 
has  bid  him  let  her  know  she  fell  down  just  now, 
and  did  not  hurt  herself;  how  Madam  Betty  is  the 
gravest  of  matrons  in  her  airs  and  civilities ;  how  Eugene 
is  a  most  beautiful  and  lusty  child ;  and  how  Dick  is 
becoming  a  great  scholar,  for  whenever  his  father's  Virgil 
is   shown    him    he    makes    shrewd  remarks    upon  the 


253  LAST  LETTERS  TO  PRUE.       [5/>  Richard 

pictures.  In  that  same  letter  he.  calls  her  his  "poor, 
*'  dear,  angry,  pleased,  pretty,  witty,  silly,  everything 
"  Prue  ; "  and  he  has  never  failed,  through  all  these 
years,  to  send  her  the  tenderest  words  on  the  most  trivial 
occasions.  He  writes  to  her  on  his  way  to  the  Kit-Katt, 
in  waiting  on  my  Lord  Wharton  or  the  Duke  of  Newcastle. 
He  coaxes  her  to  dress  well  for  the  dinner,  to  which  he 
has  invited  the  Mayor  of  Stockbridge,  Lord  Halifax,  and 
Mr.  Addison.  He  writes  to  her  in  the  brief  momentous 
interval,  when,  having  made  his  defence  in  the  House  of 
Commons,  he  was  waiting  for  the  final  judgment  which 
Addison  was  to  convey  to  him.  He  writes  to  her  when 
he  has  the  honour  of  being  received  at  dinner  by  Lord 
Somers  ;  and  he  writes  to  her  from  among  the  "  dancing, 
*'  singing,  hooping,  hallooing,  and  drinking  "  of  one  of 
his  elections  for  Boroughbridge.  He  sends  a  special 
despatch  to  her  for  no  other  purpose  than  to  tell  her  she 
has  nothing  to  do  but  be  a  darling.  He  sends  her  as 
many  as  a  dozen  letters  in  the  course  of  his  journey  to 
Edinburgh ;  and  when,  on  his  return,  illness  keeps  them 
apart,  one  in  London,  the  other  at  Hampton-court,  her 
happening  to  call  him  Good  Dick  puts  him  in  so  much 
rapture,  that  he  tells  her  he  could  almost  forget  his 
miserable  gout  and  lameness,  and  walk  down  to  her. 
Not  long  after  this,  her  illness  terminated  fatally.  She 
died  on  the  morrow  of  the  Christmas  Day  of  1718. 

Of  the  remaining  ten  years  of  his  own  subsequent  life, 
many  of  both  the  private  and  public  incidents  of  which 
have  already  been  mentioned  by  anticipation,  the  occur- 
rences of  the  greatest  interest  were  his  controversy  with 
Addison  on  the  Peerage  bill,  where  we  hold  him,  as  we 
have  already  said,  to  have  had  much  the  advantage  of 
his  adversary  in  both  his  reasoning  and  conclusions  ;  and 
the  production  of  his  comedy  of  the  Conscious  Lovers,  the 
most  carefully  written  and  the  most  successful,  though  in 
our  opinion,  with  much  respect  for  that  of  Parson  Adams 
(who  thought  it  as  good  as  a  sermon),  not  the  best  of  his 
comedies.  Of  the  projects  that  also  occupied  him  in  this 
interval,  especially  that  of  his  fish-pool  invention,  we  have 
nothing  to  say,  but  that  Addison,  who  certainly  did  not 
sneer  at  him  in  the  "  little  Dicky"  of  the  second  Old 
Whig,  ought  to  have  spared  him,  not  less,  the  sneer  in 


Sleek. 'I  DEATH.  253 

tliat  pampUet  at  his  "  stagnated  pool.''  Steele  did  not 
retort,  however,  with  anything  more  personal  than  an 
admiring  quotation  from  Cato ;  and  his  Plebeian  forms  in 
this  respect  no  contrast  to  the  uniform  tone  in  which  he 
spoke  of  his  friend,  with  whom  his  transient  difference 
would  assuredly  soon  have  heen  composed  if  another  year 
of  life  had  been  spared  to  Addison.  But  his  children 
were  Steele's  greatest  solicitude,  as  well  as  chief  delight, 
in  these  latter  years  ;  and,  amid  failing  health  and  grow- 
ing infirmities,  he  is  never  tired  of  superintending  their 
lessons,  or  of  writing  them  gay  and  entertaining  letters, 
as  from  friend  or  playfellow.  After  three  years'  retire- 
ment in  Wales,  attended  by  his  two  little  daughters,  he 
died  there  at  the  age  of  fifty-three. 

He  had  survived  much,  but  neither  his  cheerful  temper 
nor  his  kind  philosophy.  He  would  be  carried  out  in  a 
summer's  evening,  where  the  country  lads  and  lasses  were 
at  their  rural  sports,  and  with  his  pencil  give  an  order  on 
his  agent  for  a  new  gown  to  the  best  dancer.  That  was 
the  last  thing  seen  of  Eichard  Steele.  And  the  youths 
and  maidens  who  so  saw  him  in  his  invalid  chair,  en- 
feebled and  dying,  saw  him  still  as  the  wits  and  fine  ladies 
and  gentlemen  had  seen  him  in  his  gaiety  and^youth, 
when  he  sat  in  the  chair  of  Mr.  Bickerstafi",  treating 
pleasure  for  himself  by  the  communication  of  pleasure  to 
others,  and  in  proportion  to  the  happiness  he  distributed 


increasing  his  own.     . 

^ 

CHAELES  CHUECHILL; 

1731—1764. 


The  Poetical  Works  of  Charles  Churchill.     With  Copious  Notes,  and  a  Life 
of  the  Author.    Bij  W.  Tooke,  F.E.S.    3  vols.  12mo.    London  :  1844. 


Mr.  William  Tooke  sets  us  a  bad  example  in  his 
"  copious  notes,"  ^  which,  we  do  not  propose  to  follow. 
Our  business  is  with  Churchill ;  and  not  with  the  London 
University,  or  with  the  Society  for  the  Diffusion  of 
Useful  Knowledge,  or  with  the  Reform  Bill,  or  with  the 
Penny  Postage  Bill,  or  with  the  Dissenters'  Marriage  Act, 
or  with  the  Whigs  in  general,  or  with  Lord  Campbell  in 
particular,  or  with  the  Popish  Ascendency,  or  with  the 
voters  of  Metropolitan  Boroughs,  or  with  the  members 


From  the  Edinburgh  Review,  January  1845.     With  additions. 


2  The  common  tendency  of  re- 
marks upon  individuals  is  to  the  too 
free,  indulgence  either  of  blame  or 
praise  ;  and  what  is  here  said  of 
Mr.  Tooke  does  not  altogether,  I 
fear,  escape  this  reproach.  No  one 
who  examines  the  book  under  review, 
however,  will  say  that  the  remarks 
in  the  Essay  were  unprovoked  or 
without  ample  justification.  Still 
I  would  gladly  now  have  omitted 
them,  if  I  could  have  done  so  with- 
out leaving  uncorrected  much  grave 
error,  or  without  exposing  to  pos- 
sible misrepresentation  hereafter 
both  the  matter  and  the  motive  of 
them.  So  long,  however,  as  Mr. 
Tooke's  "Copious  Notes"  of  unpro- 


voked and  unscrupulous  personal 
attack,  continue  to  disfigure  what 
might  easily  have  been  made  the 
best  edition  of  a  true  English  poet, 
their  writer  can  have  no  good  cause 
of  complaint.  I  should  add  that 
the  quotations  in  these  pages  from 
Churchill's  Poetry  and  Satire,  have 
not  been  taken  from  Mr.  Tooke's 
volumes,  but  from  the  edition  of 
the  Poems  (the  third)  issued  in 
1766  by  the  poet's  brother  and 
executor,  John  Churchill.  The 
Fragment  of  a  Dedication  to  War- 
hurton  is  of  later  date,  being  the 
only  composition  of  Churchill's  not 
published  until  after  his  death. 


25 G  A   DEAD   HAND   AT   A   LIFE.  [^C/iavks 

who  represent  tliem  in  Parliament.  There  are  many- 
reasons  why  Mr.  Tooke  should  not  have  named  these 
things,  far  less  have  gone  out  of  his  way  so  lavishly  to 
indulge  his  contempt  and  abuse  of  them ;  but  we  shall 
content  ourselves  with  mentioning  one.  If  the  editorial 
pains  bestowed  upon  them  had  been  given  to  his  author, 
we  should  probably  not  have  had  the  task,  which,  be- 
fore we  speak  of  Churchill,  we  shall  discharge  as  briefly 
as  we  may,  of  pointing  out  his  editorial  deficiencies. 

It  would  be  difficult  to  imagine  a  worse  biographer  than 
Mr.  Tooke.  As  Dr.  Johnson  said  of  his  friend  Tom 
Birch,  he  is  "  a  dead  hand  at  a  Life.''  Nor  is  he  a  more 
lively  hand  at  a  Note.  In  both  cases  he  compiles  with 
singular  clumsiness,  and  his  compilations  are  not  always 
harmless.  But,  though  Mr.  Tooke  is  a  bad  biographer 
and  a  bad  annotator,  he  is  a  far  worse  critic. 

If  it  were  true,  as  he  says,  that  "the  character  of 
"  Churchill  as  a  poet,  may  be  considered  as  fixed  in  the 
"  first  rank  of  English  classics"  (i.  xiii),  we  should  have 
to  place  him  with  Shakespeare  and  Milton,  in  the  rank 
above  Dryden  and  Pope.  If  the  Rosciad  were  really,  as 
Mr.  Tooke  thinks,  remarkable  for  its  "  strength  of  imagi- 
*'  nation  "  (i.  xxxiv),  we  should  have  to  depose  it  from  its 
place  beside  the  Dimciads,  and  think  of  it  with  the  Para- 
dise Losts.  And  indeed  we  shall  be  well  disposed  to  do 
this,  when  Mr.  Tooke  establishes  the  critical  opinion  he 
adopts  from  poor  Dr.  Anderson,  that  the  Cure  of  Saul,  a 
sacred  ode  by  Dr.  Brown,  "  ranks  with  the  most  distin- 
"  guished  lyric  compositions''  (iii.  302). 

This  Dr.  Brown,  the  author  of  the  flat  tragedy  of  Bar- 
harossa,  and  a  vain,  silly,  impracticable  person,  is  described 
by  Mr.  Tooke  to  have  been  "  a  far  wiser  and  better  man 
"  than  Jeremy  Bentham"  (iii.  109)  ;  whose  "  always 
"  mischievous,  but  happily  not  always  intelligible,  gib- 
"  berish,"  is  in  a  previous  passage  ranked  with  "  the 
"  coarse  blasphemy  of  Richard  Carlyle"  (iii.  107).  It  is 
in  the  same  discriminating  taste  we  are  told,  after  this, 
that  Dr.  Francklin's  Translation  of  Sophocles  is  "  a  bold 
"  and  happy  transfusion  into  the  English  language  of  the 
"  terrible'  simplicity  of  the  Greek  tragedian  "  (iii.  298) ; 
— poor  Dr.  Francklin  being  as  much  hke  the  terrible 
simplicity  of  the  Greeks,  as  Mr.  Tooke  resembles  Aris- 


Churchill.']       a  worthy  task  ill-done.  257 

tides,  or  an  English  schoolmaster  is  like  the  Phidian 
Jove. 

The  reader  will  not  suppose  that  Mr.  Tooke,  a  wealthy 
and  respectable  solicitor  of  long  standing,  and  a  gentle- 
man who  appears  to  have  been  really  anxious  to  do  good 
after  his  peculiar  fashion,  has  not  had  ample  time  to  set 
himself  right  on  these  points,  when  we  mention  the  fact 
of  his  first  appearance  as  Churchill's  editor  no  fewer 
than  forty  years  ago.  Forty  years  ago,  when  he  was  in 
the  flush  of  youth,  and  George  the  Third  was  King,  he 
aspired  to  connect  himself  with  the  great  satirist.  AYhat 
turned  his  thoughts  that  way,  from  the  "  quiddets  and 
"  quillets,  and  cases  and  tenures  and  tricks ''  that  sur- 
rounded him  in  his  daily  studies,  he  has  not  informed  us. 
But,  among  his  actions  of  scandal  and  battery,  the  echo 
of  Churchill's  rough  and  manly  voice  was  in  that  day 
lingering  still ;  and  an  aspiring  young  follower  of  the  law 
could  hardly  more  agreeably  indulge  a  taste  for  letters, 
than  among  the  mangled  and  still  bleeding  reputations  of 
the  Duellist,  the  Candidate,  and  the  Ghost.  We  have 
yet  reason  to  complain,  that  he  did  not  improve  this  taste 
with  some  little  literary  knowledge.  In  his  notes  to  his 
favourite  satirist  he  has  drawn  together,  no  doubt,  a 
great  mass  of  information ;  which  cannot,  however,  be  in 
any  manner  useful  except  to  those  who  know  better  than 
himself,  not  only  how  to  select  what  is  of  any  worth  in  it, 
but  how  to  reject  what  is  utterly  worthless  :  and  unhap- 
pily, where  it  is  not  matter  of  fact  but  of  opinion,  even 
this  chance  is  not  left  to  them. 

Whether  he  praises  or  blames,  Mr.  Tooke  has  the  rare 
felicity  of  never  making  a  criticism  that  is  not  a  mistake. 
Nothing  of  this  kind,  committed  forty  years  back,  has  he 
cared  to  correct ;  and'  every  new  note  added,  has  added 
something  to  the  stock  of  blunders.  He  cannot  even 
praise  in  the  right  place,  when  he  has  such  a  man  as  Dr. 
Garth  to  praise.  Garth  was  an  exquisite  creature ;  a  real 
wit,  a  gentleman,  a  friend,  a  physician,  a  philosopher ;  and 
yet  his  Satire  was  not  "admirable,"  nor  his  Claremont 
"  above  mediocrity,"  nor  his  Translations  from  Ovid 
"  spirited  and  faithful "  (iii.  16-17).  In  an  earHer  page, 
Mr.  Tooke  has  occasion  to  refer  to  the  writer  of  a  par- 
ticular panegyric,  whom  he  calls  Conyngham  (ii.  317). 


258  EDITORIAL  BLUNDERS.  \Charles 

This  exemplifies  anotlier  and  abundant  class  of  mistakes 
in  his  volumes.  The  writer  was  Codrington,  and  the  lines 
were  addressed  to  Garth  on  his  Dispensary.  Mr.  Tooke 
has  to  speak  of  the  two  Doctors  William  King ;  and  he 
attributes  the  well-known  three  octavos  of  the  King  of  St. 
Mary's-hall  to  the  King  of  Christ-church  (iii.  173).  He 
has  to  speak  of  Bishop  Parker,  Marvell's  antagonist,  and 
lie  calls  him  Archbishop  Parker  (ii.  171) ;  a  singularly- 
different  person.  He  condemns  Churchill  for  his  public 
appearance  in  a  theatre  with  a  celebrated  courtesan,  whom 
his  next  sentence,  if  correct,  would  prove  to  have  been  a 
venerable  lady  of  between  eighty  and  ninety  years  old 
(i.  47) ; — the  verses  quoted  having  been  written  sixty-three 
years  before,  to  the  Venus  of  a  past  generation.  If  an 
anecdote  has  a  point,  he  misses  it ;  and  if  a  question  has 
two  sides,  he  takes  the  wrong  one.  He  gravely  charges 
the  old  traveller  Mandeville  mth  wilful  want  of  veracity, 
and  with  having  "  observed  in  a  high  northern  latitude 
"the  singular  phenomenon  of  the  congelation  of  words 
"  as  they  issued  from  the  mouth,  and  the  strange  medley 
"  of  sounds  that  ensued  upon  a  thaw"  (ii.  76) : — vulgar 
errors,  we  need  hardly  say.  Sir  John  Mandeville  wrote 
conscientiously,  according  to  the  lights  of  his  times ;  and 
qualifies  his  marvellous  relations  as  reports.  The  con- 
gelation of  words  was  a  pure  invention  of  Addison's, 
palmed  off  upon  the  old  traveller. 

In  matters  more  closely  connected  with  his  subject,  Mr. 
Tooke  is  not  more  sparing  of  errors  and  self-contradic- 
tions. He  confounds  Davies,  the  actor  and  bookseller — 
Johnson's  friend,  Garrick's  biographer,  and  a  reasonably 
correct  as  well  as  fairly  informed  writer — with  Davis,  an 
actor  not  only  much  lower  in  the  scale  than  Davies,  but 
remembered  only  by  the  letter  Mr.  Tooke  has  printed 
(i.  36-7).  He  tells  us,  with  amazing  particularity,  that 
"  Churchill's  brother  John  survived  him  little  more  than 
"  one  year,  dying,  after  a  week's  illness  only,  on  the  18th 
"  November  1765."  (i.'lvi) :  the  truth  being  that  John, 
who  was  a  surgeon- apothecary  in  Westminster,  survived 
his  brother  many  years  ;  published,  in  the  character  of 
his  executor,  the  fifth  collected  edition  of  his  works  as  late 
as  1774  ;  and  was  recommending  the  use  of  bark  to  Wilkes, 
whose  medical  attendant  he  became,  as  late  as  1778.     In 


ChurchilL'\  self-contradictions.  259 

one  place  he  says  that  he,  Mr.  Tooke,  has  endeavoured, 
without  success,  to  ascertain  the  truth  of  a  statement  that 
Churchill  had  a  curacy  in  Wales,  and  became  bankrupt 
in  cider  speculations  there  ;  suppositions  which,  unable  to 
substantiate,  he  rejects  (i.  xxv).  Yet  in  another  place 
he  speaks,  without  a  doubt,  of  Churchill's  "  flight  from 
"  his  curacy  in  Wales"  (iii.  28)  ;  and  in  a  third,  tells  us 
decisively  that  Churchill's  "  own  failure  in  trade  as  a 
"  cider- dealer,"  had  ^'  tinctured  him  mth  a  strong  and 
"  unfounded  prejudice  "  against  the  merchants  of  London 
(ii.  318).  At  one  time  he  relates  a  story  of  Churchill's 
having  incurred  a  repulse  at  Oxford,  on  account  of  alleged 
deficiency  in  the  classics,  to  acquaint  us  that  it  "is  ob- 
"  viously  incorrect"  (i.  xxi).  At  another,  he  informs  us 
that  "  the  poet's  antipathy  to  colleges  may  be  dated  from 
"  his  rejection  by  the  University  of  Oxford,  on  account  of 
"  his  want  of  a  competent  skill  in  the  learned  languages" 
(ii.  227).  No  opportunity  of  self-contradiction  is  too 
minute  to  be  lost.  Now  he  says  that  the  price  of  the 
Rosciad  was  half-a-crown  (i.  114),  and  now  that  it  was 
but  "  the  moderate  price  of  one  shilling  "  (ii.  167).  Now 
that  Lord  Temple  resigned  in  1761  (i.  170),  and  now 
that  the  resignation  was  in  1762  (ii.  29).  Now  that  the 
Apology  was  published  in  April  1761  (i.  115),  and,  six 
pages  later  (i.  121),  that  it  was  published  in  May  of  that 
year.  Now  that  Churchill's  Sermons  were  twelve  in 
number  (i.  xxvi),  and  now,  quoting  Dr.  Kippis,  that  they 
were  ten  (iii.  318).  These  instances,  sparingly  selected 
from  a  lavish  abundance,  will  probably  suffice. 

We  shall  be  equally  sparing  of  more  general  examples 
that  remain.  Mr.  Tooke,  as  the  character  of  this  literary 
performance  would  imply,  has  no  deficiency  on  the  score 
of  boldness.  Thus,  while  he  thinks  that  "  the  Rev. 
"  Doctor  Croly,  in  his  classical  and  beautiful  play  of 
"  Catiline^  has  at  once  shown  what  a  good  tragedy  should 
"  be,  and  that  he  is  fully  equal  to  the  task  of  producing 
"  one"  (ii.  297),  he  has  an  utter  contempt  for  the  Words - 
worths  and  Coleridges.  "  What  language,"  he  indignantly 
exclaims,  before  giving  a  specimen  of  the  latter  poet  in  a 
lucid  interval,  "  could  the  satirist  have  found  sufficiently 
"  expressive  of  his  disgust  at  the  simplicity  of  a  later 
"  school  of  poetry,  the  spawn  of  the  lakes,  consisting  of 

s  2 


260  ELEGANT   EXTRACTS.  [Ckarks 

"  a  mawkisli  combination  of  the  nonsense  verses  of  the 
*'  nursery,  with  the  Rhodomontade  of  German  mysticism 
"  and  transcendentahsm !  "  (i.  189).  This  is  a  Httle 
strong,  for  a  writer  like  Mr.  Tooke.  Nor,  making  but 
one  exception  in  the  case  of  Lord  Byron,  does  he  shrink 
from  pouring  the  vials  of  his  critical  wrath  upon  every 
Lord  who  has  presumed  to  aspire  to  poetry.  Not  the 
gentle  genius  of  Lord  Surrey,  or  the  daring  passion  of 
Lord  Buckhurst ;  not  the  sharp  wit  of  my  Lords  Rochester 
and  Buckingham,  or  the  earnestness  and  elegance  of  Lord 
Thurlow;  can  shake  the  fierce  poetical  democracy  of 
Mr.  William  Tooke.  "  The  claim  of  the  whole  lot  of 
"  other  noble  poets,"  he  observes  with  great  contempt, 
"  from  Lord  Surrey  downwards — the  Buckinghams,  the 
*'  Roscommons,  the  Halifaxes,  the  Grenvilles,  the  Lyttle- 
^'  tons  of  the  last  age,  and  the  still  minor  class  of  Thur- 
"  lows,  Herberts,  and  others  of  the  present  generation, 
"  have  been  tolerated  as  poets,  only  because  they  were 
"  peers.''  (iii.  262.) 

A  contempt  of  grammar,  as  of  nobility,  may  be  observed 
to  relieve  the  sense  and  the  elegance  of  this  passage. 
But  this  is  a  department  of  Mr.  Tooke's  merits  too  ex- 
tensive to  enter  upon.  When  he  talks  of  "  a  masterly 
"  but  caustic  satire"  (i.  xl),  and  of  "  plunging  deeper  and 
"  more  irrecoverably  into,"  &c.  (i.  xli),  we  do  not  stop  to 
ask  what  he  can  possibly  mean.  But  his  use  of  the  pre- 
positions and  conjunctions  is  really  curious.  His  "  and 
"  to  which  we  would  refer  our  readers  accordingly,  and 
"  to  whose  thanks  we  shall  entitle  ourselves  for  so  doing" 
(iiL  157)  ;  his  "  and  from  which  but  Httle  information 
"  could  be  collected,  he  was  at  the  same  time  confident 
"  that  none  others  existed,  and  which  the  lapse  of  time 
"  has  confirmed  "  (iii.  296)  ;  are  of  perpetual  recurrence 
in  the  shape  of  and  who,  or  but  which,  and  may  be  said  to 
form  the  pecuHarity  of  his  style.  On  even  Mr.  Picker- 
ing's Aldine  press,  a  genius  of  blundering  has  laid  its  evil 
touch.  The  errors  in  the  printing  of  the  book  are  exe- 
crable. Not  a  page  is  correctly  pointed  from  first  to  last ; 
numbers  of  lines  in  the  text  (as  at  iii.  216-17)  are  placed 
out  of  their  order  ;  and  it  is  rare  when  a  name  is  rightly 
given.  But  enough  of  a  distasteful  subject.  We  leave 
Mn  Tooke  and  pass  to  Churchill. 


Churchill.']  two  races  of  men.  261 

Exactly  a  hundred  years  after  the  birth  of  Dryden, 
Charles  Churchill  was  bom.  More  than  a  hundred  years 
were  between  the  two  races  of  men.  In  1631,  Hampden 
was  consoling  Eliot  in  his  prison,  and  discussing  with 
Pym  the  outraged  Petition  of  Right ;  in  1731,  Walpole 
was  fl}ing  at  Townshend's  throat,  and  suggesting  to  Gay 
the  quarrels  of  Lockit  and  Peachum.  Within  the  reach 
of  Dryden's  praise  and  blame,  there  came  a  Cromwell 
and  a  Shaftesbury ;  a  Wilkes  and  a  Sandmch  exhausted 
Churchill's.  There  is  more  to  affect  a  writer's  genius  in 
personal  and  local  influences  of  this  kind,  than  he  would 
himself  be  willing  to  allow.  If,  even  in  the  failures  of  the 
first  and  greatest  of  these  satirists,  there  is  a  dash  of  large- 
ness and  power ;  there  is  never  wholly  absent  from  the 
most  consummate  achievements  of  his  successor,  a  some- 
thing we  must  call  conventional.  But  the  right  justice 
has  not  been  done  to  Churchill.  Taken  with  the  good 
and  evil  of  his  age,  he  was  a  very  remarkable  person. 

An  English  clergyman,  who,  in  conjunction  with  his 
rectory  of  Rainham  in  Essex,  held  the  curacy  and  lecture- 
ship of  St.  John  the  Evangelist  in  Westminster,  from 
1733  to  his  death  in  1758,  was  the  father  of  Charles 
Churchill.  He  had  two  younger  sons  :  William,  who 
afterwards  chose  the  church  for  his  profession,  and  passed 
a  long,  quiet,  unobtrusive  life  within  it  ;  and  John, 
brought  up  to  the  business  of  medicine.  The  elder, 
named  Charles  after  himself,  he  from  the  first  especially 
designed  for  his  own  calling ;  and  he  sent  him  in  1739, 
when  eight  years  old,  as  a  day-boy  to  Westminster 
school.  Nichols  was  then  the  head  master,  and  the 
second  master  was  (not  Lloyd,  as  Mr.  Tooke  would  in- 
form us,  but)  Johnson,  afterwards  a  bishop.  Vincent 
Bourne  was  usher  of  the  fifth  form,  and  Dr.  Pierson 
Lloyd  (after  some  years  second  master),  a  man  of  fine 
humour  as  well  as  of  rare  worth  and  learning,  was  usher 
at  the  fourth.  Churchill,  judging  from  the  earliest  notice 
taken  of  him,  must  have  been  already  a  robust,  manly, 
broad-faced  little  fellow,  when  he  entered  the  school ;  all 
who  in  later  life  remembered  him,  spoke  of  the  premature 
growth  and  fulness  both  of  his  body  and  mind ; '    and 

1  Mr.  Cunningham  has  sent  me  a       Rosciad  with  a  MS  note  by  Sir  John 
copy  of  the  seventh  edition  of  the       Cullum  respecting  the  opinion  enter- 


262  BOYS   AT   WESTMINSTER   SCHOOL.  [Charks 

he  was  not  long  in  assuming  the  place  in  Ms  boys'  circle, 
which,  quick-sighted  lads  are  not  slow  to  concede  to  a 
deserving  and  daring  claimant.  He  was  fond  of  play  ; 
but,  when  he  turned  to  work,  was  a  hard  and  a  successful 
worker.  There  is  a  story  of  one  of  his  punishments  by 
flogging,  which  only  increased  and  embittered  the  temper 
that  provoked  it ;  but  there  is  another,  of  a  literary  task 
by  way  of  punishment,  for  which  the  offender  received 
public  thanks  from  the  masters  of  the  school.  "  He 
"  could  do  well  if  he  would,"  was  the  admission  of  his 
enemies  ;  and  the  good  Dr.  Lloyd  loved  him. 

There  were  a  number  of  remarkable  boys  at  West- 
minster then.  Bonnell  Thornton  was  already  in  the 
upper  forms ;  but  George  Colman,  Kobert  Lloyd,  Rich- 
ard Cumberland,  and  Warren  Hastings,  were  all,  with 
very  few  years'  interval,  Churchiirs  contemporaries  ;  and 
there  was  one  mild,  shrinking,  delicate  lad  of  his  own 
age,  though  two  years  younger  in  the  school,  afraid  to 
lift  his  eyes  above  the  shoestrings  of  the  upper  boys,  but 
encouraged  to  raise  them  as  high  as  Churchill's  heart. 
He  stood  by  Cowper  in  those  days ;  and  the  author  of 
the  Task  and  the  Talle-Talk  repaid  him  in  a  sorer  need. 
Indeed,  there  was  altogether  a  manly  tone  of  feeling 
among  these  Westminster  scholars.  In  whatever  respect 
they  fell  short  of  any  promises  of  their  youth,  when  they 
grew  to  manhood,  they  yet  continued  true  to  all  that  in 
those  earlier  days  had  pledged  them  to  each  other.  Never, 
save  when  two  examples  occurred  too  flagrant  for  avoid- 
ance, in  a  profligate  duke  and  a  hypocritical  parson,  did 
Churchill  lift  his  pen  against  a  schoolfellow.  Mr.  Tooke 
says  that  the  commencement  of  a  satire  against  Thornton 
and  Colman  was  found  among  his  papers ;  but  there  is  no 
proof  of  this ;  and  we  doubt,  in  common  with  Southey,  the 

tained  of  its  author  by  Sir  John's  * '  told  me  that  Churchill  when  a 

Suffolk  neighbour,  and  Churchill's  "  boy    never    showed  the  faintest 

old  schoolfellow,  Lord  Bristol,  which  "  glimmer  of  genius.     May  1781." 

is  somewhat  opposed  to  that  in  the  Sir  John  is  mistaken  as  to  the  age 

text.     **  This  excellent  poem,"  says  of  Churchill,  who  was  only  nine-and- 

Sir  John,  "  was  one  of  the  earliest,  twenty   at   the  production    of  the 

**  if  not  the  first  production  of  the  Rosciad,  and  there  will  perhaps  be 

"author,  who  was  now  about  37  no  great  harm  in  assuming  that  Lord 

*'  years  old.     He  was  of  the  same  Bristol  was  not  much  more  correct 

"  class  at  Westminster  School  with  in  his  boyish  recollection  of  his  cele- 

**  Frederick  Earl  of  Bristol,   who  brated  schoolfellow. 


Churchill.']  a  profession  ill-chosen.  263 

alleged  desertion  of  poor  Lloyd  which  is  said  to  have  sug- 
gested the  satire.  Even  Warren  Hastings  profited  hy  his 
old  connexion  with  Westminster,  when  Wilkes  deserted 
his  supporters  in  the  House  of  Commons  to  defend  the 
playfellow  of  his  dead  friend  ;  and  the  irritahle  Cumher- 
land  so  warmed  to  the  memory  of  his  school  companion, 
as  to  call  him  always,  fondly,  the  Dryden  of  his  age. 

Literature  itself  had  become  a  bond  of  union  with  these 
youths  before  they  left  the  Westminster  cloisters.  The 
Tahle-Talk  tells  of  the  "  little  poets  at  Westminster,''  and 
how  they  strive  "to  set  a  distich  upon  six  and  five." 
Even  the  boredom  of  school  exercises,  more  rife  in  Eng- 
lish composition  then  than  since,  did  not  check  the  scrib- 
bling propensity.  All  the  lads  we  have  named  had  a 
decisive  turn  that  way ;  and  little  Colman,  emulating  his 
betters,  addressed  his  cousin  Pulteney  from  the  fifth  form 
with  the  air  of  a  literary  veteran.  For,  in  the  prevailing 
dearth  of  great  poetry,  verse- writing  was  cultivated  much, 
and  much  encouraged.  Again  it  had  become,  as  Lady 
Mary  Montagu  said  of  it  a  few  years  before,  as  common 
as  taking  snuff.  Others  compared  it  to  an  epidemical  dis- 
temper— a  sort  of  murrain.  Beyond  all  doubt,  it  was  the 
rage.  "  Poets  increase  and  multiply  to  that  stupendous 
"  degree,  you  see  them  at  every  turn,  in  embroidered 
"  coats,  and  pink-coloured  top-knots."  Nor  was  it  pro- 
bable, as  to  Churchill  himself,  that  he  thought  the  dress 
less  attractive  than  the  verse-tagging.  But  his  father,  as 
we  have  said,  had  other  views  with  respect  to  him.  He 
must  shade  his  fancies  with  a  more  sober  colour,  and 
follow  the  family  profession. 

It  was  an  unwise  resolve.  It  was  one  of  those  resolves 
that  more  frequently  mar  than  make  a  life.  The  forced 
control  of  inclinations  to  a  falsehood  is  a  common  parent's 
crime  ;  not  the  less  grievous  when  mistaken  for  a  virtue. 
The  stars  do  not  more  surely  keep  their  courses,  than  an 
ill-regulated  manhood  will  follow  a  mis-directed  youth. 
This  boy  had  noble  qualities  for  a  better  chosen  career. 
Thus  early  he  had  made  it  manifest,  that  he  could  see  for 
himself  and  feel  for  others ;  that  he  had  strong  sensi- 
bility and  energy  of  intellect ;  that  where  he  had  faith, 
lie  had  steadiness  of  purpose  and  enthusiasm  :  but  that, 
closely  neighbouring  his  power,  were   vehemence,  will, 


264:  AN   ILL-CO^'SIDERED   MARRIAGE.  [Charks 

and  passion;  and  that  these  made  him  confident,  in- 
flexible, and  very  hard  to  be  controlled.  From  the  com- 
pelled choice  now  put  before  him,  one  of  two  results  was 
sure.  He  would  resist,  or  he  would  succumb :  in  the 
one  case,  boasting  exemption  from  vice,  would  become 
himself  the  victim  of  the  worst  of  vices ;  or  in  the  other, 
with  violent  recoil  from  the  hypocrisies,  would  outrage 
the  proprieties  of  life.     The  proof  soon  came. 

Churchill  had  given  evidence  of  scholarship  in  Latin 
and  Greek  as  early  as  his  fifteenth  year,  when,  offering 
himself  a  candidate  for  the  Westminster  foundation,  he 
went  in  head  of  the  election ;  but,  on  standing  for  the 
studentship  to  Merton-college,  Oxford,  three  years  later, 
he  was  rejected.  Want  of  learning,  premature  indulgence 
of  satirical  tastes,  and  other  as  unlikely  causes,  have  been 
invented  to  explain  the  rejection ;  but  there  can  be  little 
doubt  that  its  real  cause  was  the  discovery  of  a  marriage 
imprudently  contracted  some  months  before,  with  a 
Westminster  girl  named  Scot,  and  accomplished  within 
the  rules  of  the  Fleet.  A  marriage  most  imprudent, 
most  unhappy.  It  disqualified  him  for  the  studentship. 
It  introduced  his  very  boyhood  to  grave  responsibilities 
which  he  was  powerless  to  discharge,  almost  to  compre- 
hend. What  self-help  he  might  have  exerted  against  the 
unwise  plans  of  his  father,  it  crippled  and  finally  destroyed. 
There  is  hardly  a  mistake  or  suffering  in  his  after  life, 
which  it  did  not  originate,  or  leave  him  without  the 
means  of  repelling.  That  it  was  entered  into  at  so  early 
an  age,  and  that  it  was  effected  by  the  scandalous  faci- 
lities of  the  Fleet,  were  among  its  evil  incidents,  but  not 
the  worst.  It  encumbered  him  with  a  wife  from  whom 
he  could  not  hope  for  sympathy,  encouragement,  or  assist- 
ance in  any  good  thing ;  and  to  whom  he  could  administer 
them  as  little.  Neither  understood  the  other ;  or  had 
that  real  affection  which  would  have  supplied  all  needful 
knowledge. 

The  good  clergyman  received  them  into  his  house  soon 
after  the  discovery  was  made.  The  compromise  seems  to 
have  been,  that  Churchill  should  no  longer  oppose  his 
father's  wishes,  in  regard  to  that  calling  of  the  Church  to 
which  he  afterwards  bitterly  described  himself  decreed, 
"  ere  it  was  known  that  he  should  learn  to  read."     He 


Churchill^  london  amusements.  265 

was  entered,  but  never  resided,  at  Trinity  in  Cambridge. 
There  was  a  necessary  interval  before  the  appointed  age 
of  ordination  (for  which  he  could  qualify  without  a  degree), 
and  he  passed  it  quietly :  the  first  twelve  months  in  his 
:£ather's  house  ;  the  rest  in  retirement,  for  which  *'  family 
"  reasons  ''  are  named  but  not  explained,  in  the  north  of 
England.  In  that  retirement,  it  is  said,  he  varied  church 
reading  with  "  favourite  poetical  amusements  ; "  with 
what  unequal  apportionment,  it  might  not  be  difiicult  to 
guess.  The  already  congenial  charm  he  may  be  supposed 
to  have  found  in  the  stout  declamation  of  Juvenal,  in 
the  sly  and  insinuating  sharpness  of  Horace,  and  in  the 
indignant  eloquence  of  Dryden — had  little  rivalry  to  fear 
from  the  fervid  imagination  of  Taylor,  the  copious  elo- 
quence of  Barrow,  or  the  sweet  persuasiveness  of  South. 

In  1753  he  visited  London,  to  take  possession,  it  is  said, 
of  a  small  fortune  in  right  of  his  wife ;  but  there  is 
nothing  to  show  that  he  got  the  possession,  however  small. 
It  is  more  apparent  that  the  great  city  tempted  him 
sorely;  that  boyish  tastes  were  once  more  freely  indulged; 
and  that  his  now  large  and  stalwart  figure  was  oftener 
seen  at  theatres  than  chapels.  It  was  a  great  theatrical 
time.  Drury-lane  was  in  its  strength,  with  Garrick, 
Mossop,  Mrs.  Pritchard,  Foote,  Palmer,  Woodward,  Yates, 
and  Mrs.  Olive.  Even  in  its  comparative  weakness, 
Covent-garden  could  boast  of  Barry,  Smith,  Shuter,  and 
Macklin ;  of  Mrs.  Gibber  and  Mrs.  Vincent ;  and,  not 
seldom,  of  Quin,  who  still  lingered  on  the  stage  he  had 
quitted  formally  two  or  three  years  before,  and  yet  seemed 
as  loth  to  depart  from  reaUy,  as  Ghurchill,  on  these  stolen 
evenings  of  enjoyment,  from  his  favourite  front  row  of 
the  pit.  Nevertheless,  the  promise  to  his  father  was 
kept :  and,  ha\"ing  now  reached  the  canonical  age,  he 
returned  to  the  north  in  deacon's  orders ;  whence  he 
removed,  with  little  delay,  to  the  curacy  of  South  Cad- 
bury  in  Somersetshire.  Here  he  ofiiciated  till  1756, 
when  he  was  ordained  priest,  and  passed  to  his  father's 
living  at  Kainham. 

Both  these  ordinations  without  a  degree,  are  urged  in 
special  proof  of  his  good  character  and  reputation  for 
singular  learning ;  but  there  is  reason  to  suspect  his 
father's  influence  as  having  been  more  powerful  than 


266         SUCCEEDS  TO  HIS  father's  curacy.     [Charles 

either.  "  His  behaviour,"  says  Dr.  Kippis,  writing  in  the 
Biographia  Britannica,  ''  gained  him  the  love  and  esteem 
"  of  his  parishioners ;  and  his  sermons,  though  some- 
"  what  raised  above  the  level  of  his  audience,  were  com- 
"  mended  and  followed.  What  chiefly  disturbed  him, 
"  was  the  smaUness  of  his  income.'''  This,  though  con- 
nected with  a  statement  as  to  a  Welsh  living  now  rejected, 
has  in  effect  been  always  repeated  since,  and  may  or  may 
not  be  true.  It  is  perhaps  a  little  strange,  if  his  sermons 
were  thus  elevated,  commended,  and  followed,  that  no 
one  recognised  their  style,  or  could  in  the  least  commend 
them,  when  a  series  of  ten  were  published  with  his  name 
eight  years  later ;  but  the  alleged  smallness  of  his  income 
admits  of  no  kind  of  doubt.  He  had  now  two  sons,  and, 
as  he  says  himself,  "prayed  and  starved  on  forty  pounds 
"  a-year."  He  opened  a  school.  It  was  bitter  drudgery. 
He  wondered,  he  afterwards  told  his  friends,  that  he  had 
ever  submitted  to  it;  but  necessities  more  bitter  over- 
mastered him.  What  solid  help  this  new  toil  might  have 
given,  however,  was  still  uncertain,  when,  in  1758,  his 
father  died  ;  ^  and,  in  respect  to  his  memory,  his  parish- 
ioners elected  the  curate  of  Rainham  to  succeed  him. 
At  the  close  of  1758,  Charles  Churcliill  was  settled  in 
Westminster,  at  the  age  of  twenty- seven,  curate  and 
lecturer  of  St.  John's. 

It  was  not  a  very  brilliant  change,  nor  did  it  enable 
him  as  yet  to  dispense  with  very  mean  resources.  "  The 
"  emoluments  of  his  situation,"  observes  Dr.  Kippis, 
who  was  connected  with  the  poet's  friends,  and,  excepting 
where  he  quotes  the  loose  assertions  of  the  Annual  Regis- 
ter, wYotQ  on  the  information  of  Wilkes,  "not  amounting 
"  to  a  fall  hundred  pounds  a-year,  in  order  to  improve 
"  his  finances  he  undertook  to  teach  young  ladies  to  read 
"  and  write  English  with  propriety  and  correctness ;  and 
"  was  engaged  for  this  purpose  in  the  boarding-school  of 
"  Mrs.  Dennis.  Mr.  ChurchiU  conducted  himself  in  his 
"  new  employment  with  aU  the  decorum  becoming  his 
"  clerical  profession."  The  grave  doctor  would  thus 
gently  indicate  the  teacher's  virtue  and  self-command,  in 

^  He  died,   Mr.  Cunningham  in-       is  tbe  entry  of  the  administration  of 
forms  me,  intestate.     In  the  Prero-       his  effects. 
gative  Will  Office,  Doctors'  Commons, 


Churchill.'^      tutor  in  a  lady's  school.  267 

showing  him  able  to  control,  by  the  proper  clerical  de- 
corums, his  instruction  of  Mrs.  Dennis's  young  ladies. 
Mr.  Tooke's  biography  more  confidently  asserts,  that  not 
only  as  the  servant  of  Mrs.  Dennis,  but  as  "  a  parochial 
''  minister,  he  performed  his  duties  "svith  punctuality, 
"  while  in  the  pulpit  he  was  plain,  rational,  and  emphatic." 
On  the  other  hand,  Churchill  himself  tell  us  that  he  was 
not  so.  He  says  that  he  was  an  idle  pastor  and  a  drowsy 
preacher.  We  are  assured,  among  the  last  and  most 
earnest  verses  he  composed,  that  "  sleep  at  his  bidding 
"  crept  from  pew  to  pew."  With  a  mournful  bitterness 
he  adds,  that  his  heart  had  never  been  mth  his  pro- 
fession ;  and  that  it  was  not  of  his  own  choice,  but 
through  need,  and  for  his  curse,  he  had  ever  been 
ordained.' 

It  is  a  shallow  view  of  his  career  that  can  differently 
regard  it,  or  suppose  him  at  its  close  any  other  than  he 
had  been  at  its  beginning.  Mr.  Tooke,  after  his  peculiar 
fashion,  would  "  divide  the  life  into  two  distinct  and  dis- 
"  similar  portions ;  the  one  pious,  rational,  and  consistent ; 
"  the  other  irregular,  dissipated,  and  licentious."  During 
the  first  portion  of  seven- and- twenty  years,  says  this 
philosophic    observer,    "with   the   exception   of   a  few 

^   "Much  did  I  wish,   e'en  whilst  I  Much  did  I  wish,  though  little  could 

kept  those  sheep,  I  hope, 

Which,  for  my  curse,  I  was  ordain'd  A  friend  in  him  who  was  the  friend 

to  keep,  of  Pope." 

Ordain'd,    alas  !   to  keep    through  y    ^.v                                  at,     £ 

need,  not  choice.  In  the  same  poem  occurs  the  fine 

Those  sheep  which  never  heard  their  aP^s^^oP^e  *«  ^^^^^  ^^^nd  of  Pope  : 

shepherd's  voice  "  Doctor  !  Dean !  Bishop  !  Glo'ster  ! 

Which  did  not  know,'  yet  would  not  ^^^  ^7  ^^^^  ! 

learn  their  way,  ^^  haply  these  high  titles  may  accord 

Which  stray'd  themselves,  yetgriev'd  With  thy  meek  spirit ;  if  the  barren 

that  I  should  stray  ;  sound  _ 

Those  sheep  which  my  good  father  Of  pride  delights  thee,  to  the  top- 

(on  his  bier  ^ost  round 

Let    filial    duty    drop     the    pious  ^^  Fortune's  ladder  got,  despise  not 

tear)  oiie 

Kept  well,  yet  starv'd  himself,  e'en  ^or     want    of    smooth    hypocrisy 

at  that  time  undone, 

Whilst  I  was  pure  and  innocent  of  ^^o,  far  below,  turns  up  his  won- 

rhyme,  dering  eye, 

Whilst,  sacred  dulness  ever  in  my  ^"^^y  without  envy,  sees  thee  placed 


view. 


so  high.' 


Sleep  at  my  bidding  crept  from  pew  The  lines  are  in  the  Dedication  to 

to  pew;  Warburton,  iii.  317-19;  325-6. 


268  UNSETTLED   THOUGHTS   AKD   PLANS.       [Charks 

"  indiscretions,  his  conduct  in  every  relation,  as  son,  as 
"  brother,  as  husband,  as  father,  and  as  friend,  was 
"  rigidly  and  exemplarily,  though  obscurely  virtuous ; 
"  while  the  remaining  six  years  present  an  odious  con- 
"  trast."  Why,  with  such  convictions,  Mr.  Tooke  edited 
the  odious  six  years,  and  not  the  pure  twenty-seven ;  why 
he  published  the  poems,  and  did  not  collect  the  sermons ; 
the  philosopher  does  not  explain.  For  ourselves  let  us 
add,  that  we  hold  with  no  such  philosophy  in  ChurchilPs 
case,  or  in  any  other.  Whatever  the  corrupting  influence 
of  education  may  be,  or  whatever  the  evil  mistakes  of 
early  training,  we  believe  that  Nature  is  apt  to  show  her- 
self at  all  times  both  rational  and  consistent.  She  has 
no  delight  in  monsters,  and  no  pride  in  odious  contrasts. 
Her  art  is  at  least  as  wise  as  Horace  desciibes  the  art  of 
poetry  to  be  :  she  joins  no  discordant  terminations  to 
beginnings  that  are  pure  and  lovely.  Such  as  he  honestly 
was,  Churchill  can  afi'ord  to  be  honestly  judged ;  and, 
when  he  calls  it  his  curse  to  have  been  ordained,  he  invites 
that  judgment.  He  had  grave  faults,  and  paid  dearly  for 
them ;  but  he  set  up  for  no  virtue  that  he  had  not.  In 
the  troubled  self-reproaches  of  later  years,  he  recalled  no 
pure  self- satisfactions  in  the  past.     To  have  been 

"  Decent  and  demure  at  least, 
As  grave  and  dull  as  any  priest," 

was  all  the  pretence  he  made.  It  was  his  disgrace,  if 
the  word  is  to  be  used,  to  have  assumed  the  clerical  gown. 
It  was  not  his  disgrace  to  seek  to  lay  it  aside  as  soon  as 
might  be. 

That  such  was  the  direction  of  his  thoughts,  as  soon  as 
his  father's  death  removed  his  chief  constraint,  is  plain. 
His  return  to  Westminster  had  brought  him  back  within 
the  sphere  of  old  temptations;  the  ambition  of  a  more 
active  life,  the  early  school  aspirings,  the  consciousness  of 
talents  rusting  in  disuse,  again  disturbed  him ;  and  he 
saw,  or  seemed  to  see,  distinctions  falling  on  the  men  who 
had  started  life  when  he  did,  from  the  Literature  which 
he  might  have  cultivated  with  yet  greater  success.  Bon- 
nell  Thornton  and  Colman  were  by  this  time  established 
town  wits ;  and  with  another  schoolfellow  (his  now  disso- 


Churchill.^         old  temptations  revived.  269 

lute  neighbour,  Robert  Lloyd,  weary  also  of  the  drudgery 
of  his  father's  calling,  to  which  he  had  succeeded  as  an 
usher  in  Westminster  school,  and  on  the  eve  himself  of 
rushing  into  the  life  of  a  professed  man  of  letters),  he  was 
in  renewed  habits  of  daily  intercourse.  Nor,  to  the  dis- 
content thus  springing  up  on  all  sides,  had  he  any  power 
of  the  least  resistance  in  his  home.  His  ill-considered 
marriage  had  by  this  time  borne  its  bitterest  fruit ;  it 
being  always  understood  in  Westminster,  says  Dr.  Kippis, 
himself  a  resident  there,  "that  Mrs.  Churchill's  im- 
"  prudence  kept  too  near  a  pace  with  that  of  her  hus- 
"  band."  The  joint  imprudence  had  its  effect  in  growing 
embarrassment ;  continual  terrors  of  arrest  induced  the 
most  painful  concealments ;  executions  were  lodged  in 
his  house;  and  his  life  was  passed  in  endeavours  to 
escape  his  creditors,  perhaps  not  less  to  escape  himself. 
It  was  then  that  young  Lloyd,  whose  whole  life  had  been 
a  sad  impulsive  scene  of  licence,  threw  open  to  him, 
without  further  reserve,  his  own  reckless  circle  of  dissi- 
pation and  forgetfulness.     It  was  entered  eagerly. 

In  one  of  his  later  writings,  he  describes  this  time ; ' 
his  credit  gone,  his  pride  humbled,  his  virtue  undermined, 
himself  sinking  beneath  the  adverse  storm,  and  the  kind 
hand,  whose  owner  he  should  love  and  reverence  to  his 
dying  day,  which  was  suddenly  stretched  forth  to  save  him. 
It  was  that  of  the  good  Dr.  Lloyd,  now  under-master  of 
Westminster :  he  saw  the  creditors,  persuaded  them  to 
accept  a  composition  of  five  shillings  in  the  pound,  and 
lent  what  was  required  to  complete  it.  In  this,  with  the 
generous  wish  to  succour  his  favourite  pupil,  there  may 
have  been  the  hope  of  one  more  chance  of  safety  for  his 
son.  But  it  was  too  late.  At  almost  the  same  instant, 
young  Lloyd  deserted  his  ushership  of  Westminster  to 
throw  himself  on  literature  for  support ;  and  Churchill, 
resolving  to  try  his  fate  as  a  poet,  prepared  to  abandon 
his  profession.  A  formal  separation  from  his  wife,  and 
a  first  rejection  by  the  booksellers,  date  within  a  few 
months  of  each  other. 

At  the  close  of  1760,  he  carried  round  his  first  effort 
in  verse  to  those  arbiters  of  literature,  then  all-powerful ; 

1  In  The  Conference,  ii.  19^-195. 


S70  FIRST   EFFORTS    IN    LITERATURE.  [CharleS 

for  it  was  tlie  sorry  and  helpless  interval  (so  filled  mth 
calamities  of  authors)  when  the  patron  was  completely 
gone,  and  the  public  had  not  fairly  come.  The  Bard, 
written  in  Hudibrastic  verse,  was  contemptuously  rejected. 
But,  fairly  bent  upon  his  new  career,  he  was  not  the  man 
to  waste  time  in  fruitless  complainings.  He  wrote  again, 
in  a  style  more  likely  to  be  acceptable  ;  and  the  Conclave, 
a  satire  aimed  at  the  Dean  and  Chapter  of  Westminster, 
would  have  been  published  eagerly,  but  for  a  legal  opinion 
on  the  dangers  of  a  prosecution,  interposed  by  the  book- 
seller's friend.  This  was  at  once  a  lesson  in  the  public  taste, 
and  in  the  caution  with  which  it  should  be  catered 
for.  Profiting  by  it,  Churchill  with  better  fortune  planned 
his  third  undertaking.  He  took  a  subject  in  which  his 
friend  Lloyd  had  recently  obtained  success ;  in  which 
severity  was  not  unsafe  ;  and  to  which,  already  firm  as 
it  was  in  the  interest  of  what  was  called  the  Town,  he 
could  nevertheless  give  a  charm  of  novelty.  After  "  two 
"  months'  close  attendance  at  the  theatres,"  he  completed 
The  Rosciad. 

It  is  not  known  to  what  bookseller  he  offered  it,  but  it 
is  certain  that  it  was  refused  by  more  than  one.  Pro- 
bably it  went  the  round  of  The  Trade :  a  trade  more 
remarkable  for  mis-valuation  of  its  raw  material,  than 
any  other  in  existence.  He  asked  five  guineas  for  the 
manuscript  (according  to  Southey,  but  Mr.  Tooke  says  he 
asked  twenty  pounds),  and  there  was  not  a  member  of  the 
craft  that  the  demand  did  not  terrify.  But  he  was  not  to 
be  baffled  this  time.  He  possibly  knew  the  merit  of 
what  he  had  done.  Here,  at  any  rate,  into  this  however 
slighted  manuscript,  a  something  long  restrained  within 
himself  had  forced  its  way  ;  and  a  chance  he  was  deter- 
mined it  should  have.  It  was  no  little  risk  to  run  in  his 
position  ;  but,  at  his  own  expense,  he  printed  and  pub- 
lished The  Rosciad.  It  appeared  without  his  name,  after 
two  obscure  advertisements,  in  March  1761. 

A  few  days  served  to  show  what  a  hit  had  been  made. 
They  who  in  a  double  sense  had  cause  to  feel  it,  doubt- 
less cried  out  first ;  but  Who  is  He  ?  was  soon  in  the 
mouths  of  all.  Men  upon  town  spoke  of  its  pungency 
and  humour  ;  men  of  higher  mark  found  its  manly  verse 


Churchill.']  the  rosciad.  271 

ticism  to  discuss ;  and  discontented  Whigs,  in  disfavour 
at  Court  for  the  first  time  these  fifty  years,  gladly  wel- 
comed a  spirit  that  might  help  to  give  discontent  new 
terrors,  and  Revolution  principles  new  vogue.  Thus,  m 
their  turn,  the  wit,  the  strong  and  easy  verse,  the  grasp 
of  character,  and  the  rude  free  daring  of  the  Rosciad, 
were,  within  a  few  days  of  the  appearance  of  its  shilKng 
pamphlet,  the  talk  of  every  London  cofi'eehouse. 

One  remarkable  piece  of  writing  in  it  might  well 
startle  the  town  by  the  power  it  displayed.  It  was  the 
full  length  picture  of  a  noted  frequenter  of  the  theatres 
in  those  days,  who  had  originated  some  shameful  riots 
against  Garrick's  management  of  Drury-lane,  the  very 
vileness  of  whose  character  had  been  hitherto  his  protec- 
tion, but  who  now  saw  himself  gibbeted  to  universal 
scorn,  where  no  man  could  mistake  him,  and  none 
administer  rehef.  It  is  one  of  the  masterpieces  of  Eng- 
lish satire  ;  and,  being  dependent  for  its  interest  on 
something  higher  than  the  individual  likeness,  it  may  still 
be  presented,  as  Churchill  desired  it  should  be  left,  without 
a  name. 

A   CHARACTER. 

With  that  low  cunning,  which  in  fools  supplies, 

And  amply  too,  the  place  of  being  wise  ; 

Which  Nature,  kind  indulgent  parent,  gave 

To  qualify  the  blockhead  for  a  knave  ; 

With  that  smooth  falsehood,  Avhose  appearance  charms. 

And  reason  of  each  wholesome  doubt  disarms, 

Which  to  the  lowest  depths  of  guile  descends, 

By  vilest  means  pursues  the  vilest  ends. 

Wears  friendship's  mask  for  purposes  of  spite, 

Fawns  in  the  day,  and  butchers  in  the  night ; 

With  that  malignant  envy,  which  turns  pale, 

And  sickens,  even  if  a  friend  prevail. 

Which  merit  and  success  pursues  with  hate, 

And  damns  the  worth  it  cannot  imitate  ; 

With  the  cold  caution  of  a  coward's  spleen. 

Which  fears  not  guilt,  but  always  seeks  a  screen, 

Which  keeps  this  maxim  ever  in  his  view — 

What's  basely  done  should  be  done  safely  too  ; 

With  that  dull,  rooted,  callous  impudence, 

Which,  dead  to  shame  and  ev'ry  nicer  sense. 

Ne'er  blush'd,  unless,  in  spreading  vice's  snares, 

She  blunder' d  on  some  virtue  imawares  ; 

With  all  these  blessings,  which  we  seldom  find, 

Lavish'd  by  nature  on  one  happy  mind. 


273  FITZGERALD   AND   WEDDERBURNE.  [Charks 

Came  simpering  on  :  to  ascertain  whose  sex 
Twelve  sage,  impannell'd  matrons  would  perplex. 
Nor  male,  nor  female  ;  neither,  and  yet  both  ; 
Of  neuter  gender,  though  of  Irish  growth  ; 
A  six-foot  suckling,  mincing  in  Its  gait ; 
Affected,  peevish,  prim,  and  delicate  ; 
Fearful  It  seem'd,  tho'  of  athletic  make. 
Lest  brutal  breezes  should  too  roughly  shake 
Its  tender  form,  and  savage  motion  spread 
O'er  Its  pale  cheeks,  the  horrid  manly  red. 

Much  did  It  talk,  in  Its  own  pretty  phrase, 
Of  genius  and  of  taste,  of  players  and  plays  ; 
Much  too  of  writings,  which  Itself  had  wrote, 
Of  special  merit,  though  of  little  note  ; 
For  Fate,  in  a  strange  humour,  had  decreed 
That  what  It  wrote,  none  but  Itself  should  read  : 
Much  too  It  chattered  of  dramatic  laws, 
Misjudging  critics,  and  misplac'd  applause, 
Then,  with  a  self-complacent  jutting  air, 
It  smil'd.  It  smirk'd.  It  wriggled  to  the  Chair  ; 
And,  with  an  awkward  briskness  not  Its  own, 
Looking  around,  and  perking  on  the  throne. 
Triumphant  seem'd  :  when  that  strange  savage  Dame, 
Known  but  to  few,  or  only  known  by  name, 
Plain  Common  Sense  appear' d,  by  Nature  there 
Appointed  with  plain  Ti-uth  to  guard  the  Chair, 
The  pageant  saw,  and,  blasted  with  her  frowoi, 
To  Its  first  state  of  Nothing  melted  down. 

Nor  shall  the  Muse  (for  even  there  the  pride 
Of  this  vain  Nothing  shall  be  mortified) 
Nor  shall  the  Muse  {should  fate  ordain  her  rhymes, 
Fond,  pleasing  thought  !  to  live  in  after-times) 
"With  such  a  trifler's  name  her  pages  blot ; 
Known  be  the  Character,  the  Thing  forgot  ! 
Let  It,  to  disappoint  each  future  aim. 
Live  without  sex,  and  die  without  a  name  ! 

Other  likenesses  there  were,  too,  named  as  well  as 
gibbeted,  because  taken  from  a  more  exalted  and  more 
pubHc  stage;  and,  prominent  among  them,  the  Scotch 
lawyer, 

WEDDERBURNE. 

To  mischief  train' d,  e'en  from  his  mother's  womb, 

Grown  old  in  fraud,  tho'  yet  in  manhood's  bloom, 

Adopting  arts  by  which  gay  villains  rise. 

And  reach  the  heights  which  honest  men  despise  ; 

Mute  at  the  bar,  and  in  the  senate  loud, 

Dull  'mongst  the  dullest,  proudest  of  the  proud  ; 

A  pert,  prim.  Prater  of  the  northern  race, 

Guilt  in  his  heart,  and  famine  in  his  face. 

Stood  forth  :  and  thrice  he  waved  his  lily  hand— 

And  thrice  he  twirl'd  his  tye — thrice  strok'd  his  band. 


Churchill7\  yates  and  mossop.  273 

But  these,  masterly  as  they  might  be,  were  only  "  limbs 
"  and  flourishes ; "  for  of  course  the  substance  of  the  satire 
was  its  picture  of  the  Stage.  And  how  finished  was  the 
portraiture,  how  vivid  its  reflection  of  the  originals,  how 
faithful  the  mirror  it  set  up,  in  which  the  vainest,  most 
sensitive,  and  most  irritable  of  mankind,  might  see  them- 
selves for  nothing  better  than  they  were,  will  appear  in 
even  the  few  incomplete  subjects  we  here  borrow  from  its 
gallery. 

TATES. 

In  characters  of  low  and  vulgar  mould, 
Where  nature's  coarsest  features  we  behold, 
Where,  destitute  of  ev'ry  decent  grace, 
TJnmanner'd  jests  are  blurted  in  your  face, 
There  Yates  with  justice  strict  attention  draws. 
Acts  truly  from  himself,  and  gains  applause. 
But  when,  to  please  himself  or  charm  his  wife, 
He  aims  at  something  in  politer  life, 
When,  blindly  thwarting  Nature's  stubborn  plan, 
He  treads  the  stage  by  way  of  gentleman. 
The  Clown,  who  no  one  touch  of  breeding  knows. 
Looks  like  Tom  Errand  dress'd  in  Clincher's  clothes. 
Fond  of  his  dress,  fond  of  his  person  grown, 
Laugh'd  at  by  all,  and  to  himself  unknown, 
From  side  to  side  he  struts,  he  smiles,  he  prates. 
And  seems  to  wonder  what's  become  of  Yates. 

SPARKS,    SMITH,    AND   EOSS. 

Sparks  at  his  glass  sat  comfortably  down 

To  separate  frown  from  smile,  and  smile  from  frown  ; 

Smith,  the  genteel,  the  airy,  and  the  smart. 

Smith  was  just  gone  to  school  to  say  his  part  j 

Ross  (a  misfortune  which  we  often  meet) 

Was  fast  asleep  at  dear  Statira's  feet ; 

Statira,  with  her  hero  to  agree. 

Stood  on  her  feet  as  fast  asl-eep  as  he. 


Mossop,  attach'd  to  military  plan. 

Still  kept  his  eye  fix'd  on  his  right-hand  man. 

Whilst  tho  mouth  measures  words  with  seeming  skill, 

The  right-hand  labours,  and  the  left  lies  still ; 

For  he  resolved  on  scripture -grounds  to  go. 

What  the  right  doth,  the  left-hand  shall  not  know. 

With  studied  impropriety  of  speech 

He  soars  beyond  the  hackney  critic's  reach  ; 

To  epithets  allots  emphatic  state, 

Whilst  principals,  ungrac'd,  like  lackies,  wait ; 

In  ways  lirst  trodden  by  himself  excels. 

And  stands  alone  in  indeclinables ; 


374  BARRY  AND  QuiN.  [Charles 

Conjunction,  preposition,  adverb,  join 

To  stamp  new  vigour  on  the  nervous  line  ; 

In  monosyllables  his  thunders  roll. 

He,  she,  it,  and,  we,  ye,  they,  fright  the  soul. 

BARRY. 

In  person  taller  than  the  common  size, 

Behold  where  Barry  draws  admiring  eyes  ! 

When  lab' ring  passions,  in  his  bosom  pent. 

Convulsive  rage,  and  struggling  heave  for  vent, 

Spectators,  with  imagin'd  terrors  warm, 

Anxious  expect  the  bursting  of  the  storm  : 

But,  all  unfit  in  such  a  pile  to  dwell. 

His  voice  comes  forth,  like  Echo  from  her  cell ; 

To  swell  the  tempest  needful  aid  denies, 

And  all  adown  the  stage  in  feeble  murmurs  dies. 

What  man,  like  Barry,  with  such  pains,  can  err 
In  elocution,  action,  character  ? 
What  man  could  give,  if  Barry  was  not  here, 
Such  well  applauded  tenderness  to  Lear  ? 
"VVTio  else  can  speak  so  very,  very  fine, 
That  sense  may  kindly  end  with  ev'ry  line  ? 

Some  dozen  lines  before  the  ghost  is  there, 
Behold  him  for  the  solemn  scene  prepare. 
See  how  he  frames  his  eyes,  poises  each  limb, 
Puts  the  whole  body  into  proper  trim. 
From  whence  we  learn,  with  no  great  stretch  of  art. 
Five  lines  hence  comes  a  ghost,  and,  Ha  !  a  start. 

When  he  appears  most  perfect,  still  we  find 
Something  which  jars  upon,  and  hurts  the  mind  ; 
Whatever  lights  upon  a  part  are  thrown 
We  see  too  plainly  they  are  not  his  own. 
No  flame  from  Nature  ever  yet  he  caught ; 
Nor  knew  a  feeling  which  he  was  not  taught  ; 
He  raised  his  trophies  on  the  base  of  art. 
And  conn'd  his  passions,  as  he  conn'd  his  part. 

QUIN. 

His  words  bore  sterling  weight ;  nervous  and  strong. 
In  manly  tides  of  sense  they  roU'd  along. 
Happy  in  art,  he  chiefly  had  pretence 
To  keep  up  numbers,  yet  not  forfeit  sense. 
No  actor  ever  greater  heights  could  reach 

In  all  the  labour'd  artifice  of  speech 

His  eyes,  in  gloomy  socket  taught  to  roll, 
Proclaim'd  the  sullen  habit  of  his  soul. 
Heavy  and  phlegmatic  he  trod  the  stage. 
Too  proud  for  tenderness,  too  dull  for  rage. 
When  Hector's  lovely  widow  shines  in  tears 
Or  Rowe's  gay  rake  dependent  virtue  jeers, 
With  the  same  cast  of  features  he  is  seen 
To  chide  the  libertine,  and  court  the  queen. 
From  the  tame  scene,  which  without  passion  flows, 
With  just  desert  his  reputation  rose  : 
Nor  les3  he  pleased,  when,  on  some  surly  plan. 
He  was,  at  once,  the  actor  and  the  man. 


Churchill?^  david  garrick.  275 


HAVARD   AND   DAVIES. 

Here  Havard,  all  serene,  in  the  same  strains 
Loves,  hates,  and  rages,  triumphs,  and  complains  ; 
His  easy  vacant  face  proclaim'd  a  heart 
Which  could  not  feel  emotions,  nor  impart. 
AVith  him  came  mighty  Davies.     On  my  life 
That  Davies  hath  a  very  pretty  wife  ! 
Statesman  all  over  ! — In  plots  famous  grown  ! — 
He  mouths  a  sentence,  as  curs  mouth  a  bone. 

DAVID   GARRICK. 

Last  Garrick  came. — Behind  him  throng  a  train 
Of  snarling  critics,  ignorant  as  vain. 

One  finds  out, — "He's  of  stature  somewhat  low, — 
Your  hero  always  should  be  tall  you  know. 
True  natural  greatness  all  consists  in  height." 
Produce  your  voucher,  Critic. — "Sergeant  Kite." 

Another  can't  forgive  the  paltry  arts, 
By  which  he  makes  his  way  to  shallow  hearts  ; 
Mere  pieces  of  finesse,  traps  for  applause — 
"  Avaunt  !  unnatural  Start,  affected  Pause." 

For  me,  by  Nature  form'd  to  judge  with  phlegm, 
1  can't  acquit  by  wholesale,  nor  condemn. 
The  best  things  carried  to  excess  are  wrong  : 
The  start  may  be  too  frequent,  pause  too  long  ; 
But,  only  us  d  in  proper  time  and  place, 
Severest  judgment  must  allow  them  gi-ace. 

If  bunglers,  form'd  on  Imitation's  plan, 
Just  in  the  way  that  monkies  mimic  man, 
Their  copied  scene  with  mangled  arts  disgrace, 
And  pause  and  start  with  the  same  vacant  face, 
We  join  the  critic  laugh  ;  those  tricks  we  scorn 
Which  spoil  the  scenes  they  mean  them  to  adorn. 
But  when,  from  Nature's  pure  and  genuine  source, 
These  strokes  of  acting  flow  with  generous  force, 
When  in  the  features  all  the  soul's  portray' d. 
And  passions,  such  as  Garrick' s,  are  display'd, 
To  me  they  seem  from  quickest  feelings  caught  : 
Each  start  is  Nature,  and  each  pause  is  Thought. 
*  *  «  *  * 

The  judges,  as  the  sev'ral  parties  came, 
With  tamper  heard,  with  judgment  weigh' d,  each  claim 
And,  in  their  sentence  happily  agreed, 
In  name  of  both.  Great  Shakespeare  thus  decreed. 

"  If  manly  sense,  if  nature  Hnk'd  with  art ; 
If  thorough  knowledge  of  the  human  heart  ; 
If  powers  of  acting,  vast  and  uncoufined  ; 
If  fewest  faults,  with  greatest  beauties  join'd  ; 
If  strong  expression,  and  strange  powers  which  lie 
Within  the  magic  circle  of  the  eye  ; 
If  feelings  which  few  hearts,  like  his,  can  know. 
And  wliich  no  face  so  well  as  his  can  show. 
Deserve  the  preference  ; — Garrick  !  take  the  chair, 
Nor  quit  it— till  thou  place  an  Equal  there." 

T  2 


276  EFFECTS  OF  THE  RosciAD.  [CJiaries 

To  account  for  the  reception  Satire  commonly  meets 
with  in  the  world,  and  for  the  scant  numher  of  those  who 
are  offended  with  it,  it  has  been  compared  to  a  sort  of 
glass  wherein  beholders  may  discover  every  body's  face 
but  their  own.  The  class  whom  the  Rosciad  principally 
offended,  however,  could  discover  nobody's  face  but  their 
own.  It  was  the  remark  of  one  of  themselves,  that  they 
ran  about  the  town  hke  so  many  stricken  deer.  They 
cared  little  on  their  own  account,  they  said ;  but  they 
grieved  so  very  much  for  their  friends.  "  Why  should 
"  this  man  attack  Mr.  Havard  ?  "  remonstrated  one.  "  I 
"  am  not  at  all  concerned  for  myself ;  but  what  has  poor 
"  Billy  Havard  done,  that  he  must  be  treated  so  cruelly  ?*' 
To  which  another  with  less  sympathy  rejoined  :  ''  And 
"  pray,  what  has  Mr.  Havard  done,  that  he  cannot  bear 
"  his  misfortunes  as  well  as  another  ?  "  For,  indeed, 
many  more  than  the  Billy  Havards  had  their  misfortunes 
to  bear.  The  strong,  quite  as  freely  as  the  weak,  were 
struck  at  in  the  Rosciad.  The  Quin,  the  Mossop,  and  the 
Barry,  as  we  have  seen,  had  as  little  mercy  as  the  Sparks, 
the  Ross,  and  the  Davies  ;  and  even  Garrick  was  too  full 
of  terror  at  the  avalanche  that  had  fallen,  to  rejoice  very 
freely  in  his  own  escape.  Forsooth,  he  must  assume 
indifference  to  the  praise ;  and  suggest  with  off-hand 
grandeur  to  one  of  his  retainers,  that  the  writer  had 
treated  him  civilly  no  doubt,  with  a  view  to  the  freedom 
of  the  theatre.  He  had  the  poor  excuse  for  tfiis  fribbling 
folly  (which  Churchill  heard  of,  and  punished),  that  he 
did  not  yet  affect  even  to  know  the  writer  ;  and  was  him- 
self repeating  the  question  addressed  to  him  on  all  sides, 
Who  is  He  ? 

It  was  a  question  which  the  Critical  Reviewers  soon  took 
upon  themselves  to  answer.  They  were  great  authorities 
in  those  days,  and  had  no  less  a  person  than  Smollett  at 
their  head.  But  here  they  bungled  sadly.  The  field 
which  the  Rosciad  had  invaded,  they  seem  to  have  thought 
their  own  ;  and  they  fell  to  the  work  of  resentment  in  the 
spirit  of  the  tiger  commemorated  in  the  Rambler,  who 
roared  without  reply  and  ravaged  without  resistance.  If 
they  could  have  anticipated  either  the  resistance  or  the 
reply,  they  would  doubtless  have  been  a  little  more  dis- 
creet.    No  question  could  exist  of  the  authorship,  they 


Churchill^  the  apology.  277 

said.  The  thing  was  clear.  Who  were  they  that  the 
poem  made  heroes  of?  Messrs.  Lloyd  and  Colman. 
Then,  who  could  have  written  it  ?  Why,  who  hut  Messrs. 
Lloyd  and  Colman  ?  "  Claw  me^  claw  thee,  as  Sawney 
"  says  ;  and  so  it  is ;  they  go  and  scratch  one  another 
"  like  Scotch  pedlars.'*  Hereupon,  for  the  Critical  Review 
was  a  "  great  fact "  then,  Lloyd  sent  forth  an  advertise- 
ment to  say  that  he  was  never  "  concerned  or  consulted" 
about  the  publication,  nor  ever  corrected  or  saw  the 
sheets.  He  was  followed  by  Colman,  who  took  the  same 
means  of  announcing  "most  solemnly"  that  he  was 
"  not  in  the  least  concerned."  To  these  were  added,  in 
a  few  days,  a  third  advertisement.  It  stated  that  Charles 
Churchill  was  the  author  of  the  Rosciad;  and  that  his 
Apology  addressed  to  the  Critical  Reviewers,  would  imme- 
diately be  published.  Before  the  close  of  the  month  this 
poem  appeared. 

On  all  who  had  professed  to  doubt  the  power  of  the 
new  writer,  the  effect  was  prompt  and  decisive.  The 
crowd  so  recently  attracted  by  his  hard  hitting,  now 
gathered  round  in  greater  numbers,  to  enjoy  the  clattering 
descent  of  such  well-aimed  blows  on  the  astonished  heads 
of  unprepared  reviewers.  One  half  of  the  poem  was  a 
protest  against  the  antipathies  and  hatreds  that  are  the 
general  welcome  of  new-comers  into  literature — the  fact 
in  natural  history,  somewhere  touched  upon  by  Warbur- 
ton,  that  only  pikes  and  poets  prey  upon  their  kind.  The 
other  half  was  a  bitter  depreciation  of  the  Stage ;  much 
in  the  manner,  and  hardly  less  admirable  than  the  wit,  of 
Hogarth.  Smollett  was  fiercely  attacked,  and  Garrick 
was  rudely  warned  and  threatened.  Coarseness  there 
was  throughout,  but  a  fearless  aspect  of  strength  ;  too 
great  a  tendency  to  say  with  willing  vehemence  whatever 
could  be  eloquently  said,  but  in  this  a  mere  over- assertion 
of  the  consciousness  of  real  power.  In  an  age  where 
most  things  were  tame,  except  the  practice  of  profligacy 
in  all  its  forms  ;  when  Grray  describes  even  a  gout,  and 
George  Montagu  an  earthquake,  of.  so  mild  a  character 
that  "  you  might  stroke  them  ;  "  it  is  not  to  be  wondered 
at  that  this  Apology  should  have  gathered  people  round 
it.  Tame,  it  certainly  was  not.  It  was  a  curious  con- 
trast to  the  prevailing  manner  of  even  the  best  of  such 


278  A  SKETCH  OF  STROLLING  ACTORS.       \Charles 

things.  It  was  a  fierce  and  sudden  change  from  the 
parterres  of  trim  sentences  set  within  sweetbrier  hedges 
of  epigram,  that  were,  in  this  line,  the  most  applauded 
performances  of  the  day. 

Walter  Scott's  favourite  passage  in  Crahbe  was  the 
arrival  of  the  Strolling  Players  in  the  Borough.  It  was 
among  the  things  selected  by  Lockhart  to  read  aloud  to 
him,  during  the  last  mournful  days  in  which  his  con- 
sciousness remained.  Excellent  as  it  is,  however,  it  is 
hut  the  pale  reflection  of  those  masterly  lines  in  the 
Apology  which  we  are  now  about  to  quote.  As  Garrick 
read  them,  he  afterwards  told  his  friends,  he  was  so 
charmed  and  raised  by  the  power  of  the  writing,  that  he 
really  forgot  he  was  delighted  when  he  ought  to  have 
been  alarmed.  He  compared  himself  to  the  Highland 
officer  who  was  so  warmed  and  elevated  by  the  heat  of 
the  battle,  that  he  had  forgot,  until  he  was  reminded  by 
the  smarting,  that  he  had  received  no  less  than  eleven 
wounds  in  different  parts  of  his  body. 

THE   STROLLERS. 

The  strolling  tribe,  a  despicable  race, 
Like  wandering  Arabs,  shift  from  place  to  place. 
Vagrants  by  law,  to  justice  open  laid, 
They  tremble,  of  the  beadle's  lash  afraid, 
And  fawning  cringe,  for  wretched  means  of  life, 
To  Madam  May'ress,  or  his  Worship's  Wife. 

The  mighty  monarch,  in  theatric  sack. 
Carries  his  whole  regalia  at  his  back  : 
His  royal  consort  heads  the  female  band, 
And  leads  the  heir-apparent  in  her  hand  ; 
The  pannier' d  ass  creeps  on  with  conscious  pride, 
Bearing  a  future  prince  on  either  side. 
No  choice  musicians  in  this  troop  are  found 
To  varnish  nonsense  with  the  charms  of  sound  ; 
No  swords,  no  daggers,  not  one  poison'd  bowl  ; 
No  lightning  flashes  here,  no  thunders  roll ; 
No  guards  to  swell  the  monarch's  tmn  are  shown  ; 
The  monarch  here  must  be  a  host  aloTie. 
No  solemn  pomp,  no  slow  processions  here  ; 
No  Ammon's  entry,  and  no  Juliet's  bier. 

By  need  compell'd  to  prostitute  his  art. 
The  varied  actor  flies  from  part  to  part ; 
And,  strange  disgrace  to  all  theatric  pride  ! 
His  character  is  shifted  with  his  side. 
Question  and  answer  he  by  turns  must  be, 
Like  that  small  wit  in  Modern  Tragedy 
Who,  to  patch  up  his  fame — or  fill  his  purse — 
Still  pilfers  wretched  plans,  and  makes  them  worse ; 


Churchill^  fright  of  garrick.  279 

Like  gypsies,  lest  the  stolen  brat  be  known, 
Defacing  first,  then  claiming  for  his  own. 
In  shabby  state  they  strut,  and  tatter' d  robe  ; 
The  scene  a  blanket,  and  a  barn  the  globe. 
No  high  conceits  their  moderate  wishes  raise, 
Content  with  humble  profit,  humble  praise. 
Let  dowdies  simper,  and  let  bumpkins  stare, 
The  strolling  pageant  hero  treads  in  air  : 
Pleas'd  for  his  hour,  he  to  mankind  gives  law, 
And  snores  the  next  out  on  a  truss  of  straw. 

But  if  kind  fortune,  who  sometimes  we  know 
Can  take  a  hero  from  a  puppet  show. 
In  mood  propitious  should  her  fav'rite  call, 
On  royal  stage  in  royal  pomp  to  bawl. 
Forgetful  of  himself  he  rears  the  head, 
And  scorns  the  dunghill  where  he  first  was  bred. 
Conversing  now  with  well-dress'd  kings  and  queens, 
With  gods  and  goddesses  behind  the  scenes. 
He  sweats  beneath  the  terror-nodding  plume. 
Taught  by  mock  honours  real  pride  to  assume. 
On  this  great  stage,  the  World,  no  monarch  e'er 
Was  half'  so  haughty  as  a  monarch-player. 

The  effect  of  the  Apology y  as  we  have  said,  was  instant 
and  decisive.  Davies  tells  us  that  Smollett  wrote  to 
Garrick,  to  ask  him  to  make  it  known  to  Mr.  Churchill, 
that  he  was  not  the  writer  of  the  notice  of  the  Rosciad 
in  the  Critical  Revieio.  Garrick  himself  wrote  to  Lloyd 
Avith  affected  self-humility,  as  "  his  pasteboard  Majesty  of 
"  Drury-lane,"  to  praise  Mr.  Churchill's  genius,  and  to 
grieve  that  he  should  not  have  been  vindicated  by  their 
common  friend  from  Mr.  Churchill's  displeasure.*  The 
player  accepted  the  poet's  warning.  There  was  no  fear 
of  his  repeating  the  hetise  he  had  committed.  To  his 
most  distinguished  friends,  to  even  the  Dukes  and 
Dowagers  of  his  acquaintance,  he  was  careful  never  to 
omit  in  future  his  good  word  for  Mr.  Churchill ;  and 
never,  even  when  describing  the  "misery"  t\iQ  Rosciad 
had  inflicted  on  a  dear  companion,  did  he  forget  his  own 

J  **  In  his  Bosciad  he  rale' d  me  "  justly  or  not.     If  the  first,  you 

"  too  high,  in  his  Apology  he  may  "  should  certaiuly  have  opened  your 

**  have  sunk  me  too  low;  he  has  done  "  heart  to  me  and  have  heard  my 

"  as  his  Israelites  did,    made   an  "  apology  ;  if  the  last,  you  should 

* '  Idol  of  a  calf,  and  now—  the  Idol  "  as  a  common  friend  to  both  have 

•'  dwindles  to  be  a  calf  again  !     To  "  vindicated  me,  and  then  I  might 

"  be  a  little  serious,  you  mentioned  ' '  liave  escaped  his  Apology.      But 

*'  to  me  some  time  ago  that  Mr.  '*  be  it  this  or  that  or  t'other,  I  am 

**  Churchill  was  displeased  with  me,  "still   his  gi'eat  admirer,"    etc. — 

•**  you  must  have  known  whether  Garrick  to  Uobert  Lloyd. 


280  UNSUCCESSFUL  ACTING.  [Charks 

"  love  to  Cliurcliill/'  Affection  for  the  satirist  prevailed 
still  over  pity  for  his  victims ;  and  the  manager  and  the 
poet  lived  together  in  amity,  and  Churchill  dined  at 
Hampton,  to  the  last. 

"  I  have  seen  the  poem  you  mentioned,  the  JRosciad,'^ 
writes  Garrick's  friend.  Bishop  Warburton,  "  and  was 
"  surprised  at  the  excellent  things  I  found  in  it ;  but 
"  took  Churchill  to  be  a  feigned  name,  so  little  do  I  know 
"  of  what  is  going  forward ;'' — this  good  Bishop  little 
thinking  how  soon  he  was  to  discover  a  reality  to  himself 
in  what  was  going  forward,  hardly  less  bitter  than  Garrick 
had  confessed  in  the  letter  to  Lloyd,  "  of  acting  a 
*'  pleasantry  of  countenance  while  his  back  was  most 
*'  wofully  striped  with  the  cat-o'-nine  tails."  The  lively 
actor  nevertheless  subjoined :  "  I  will  show  the  supe- 
"  riority  I  have  over  my  brethren  upon  this  occasion, 
"  by  seeming  at  least  that  I  am  not  dissatisfied."  He 
did  not  succeed :  the  acting  was  not  so  good  as  usual, 
and  the  superiority  not  so  obvious.  For  in  truth  his 
brethren  had  the  best  of  it,  in  proportion  as  they  had  less 
interest  in  the  art  so  bitterly,  and,  it  must  be  added,  so 
unjustly  assailed.  "  It  was  no  small  consolation  to  us," 
says  Davies,  with  great  naivete,  "  that  our  master  was 
"  not  spared."  Some  of  the  more  sensible  went  so  far 
as  to  join  in  the  laugh  that  had  been  raised  against  them  ; 
and  Shuter  asked  to  be  allowed  to  "  compote  "  and  make 
merry  with  the  satirist— a  request  at  once  conceded. 

On  the  other  hand,  with  not  a  few,  the  publication  of 
Churchill's  name  had  aggravated  offence,  and  re-opened 
the  smarting  wound.  But  their  anger  did  not  mend  the 
matter.  Their  Anti-Rosciads,  Triumvirates,  Examiners, 
and  Churchilliads,  making  what  reparation  and  revenge 
they  could,  amounted  to  but  the  feeble  admission  of  their 
opponent's  strength;  nor  did  hostilities  more  personal 
accomplish  other  than  precisely  this.  Parties  who  had 
met  to  devise  retaliation,  and  who  were  observed  talking 
loud  against  the  Satirical  Parson  in  the  Bedford  coffee- 
house, quietly  dispersed  when  a  brawny  figure  appeared, 
and  Churchill,  drawing  ofi"  his  gloves  with  a  particularly 
slow  composure,  called  for  a  dish  of  cofiee  and  the  Rosdad. 
Their  fellow-performer,  Yates,  seeing  the  same  figure 
darken  the  parlour-door  of  the  Rose  tavern  where  he 


Churchill?^      attacks  upon  the  satirist.  281 

happened  to  be  sitting,  snatched  up  a  case-knife  to  do 
summary  justice ;  and  was  never  upon  the  stage  so 
heartily  laughed  at,  as  when,  somewhat  more  quietly,  he 
laid  it  down.  Foote  wrote  a  lampoon  against  the  Clumsy 
Curate,  and  with  a  sensible  after-thought  of  fear  (excellent 
matter  of  derision  to  the  victims  of  a  professed  lampooner), 
suppressed  it.  Arthur  Murphy  less  wisely  published 
his,  and  pilloried  himself ;  his  Ode  to  the  Naiads  of  Fleet 
Bitch  being  but  a  gross  confession  of  indecency  as  well  as 
imbecility — which  was  more  than  Churchill  charged  him 
with.' 

"  No  more  he'll  sit,"  exclaimed  this  complacent  and 
courageous  counter-satirist,  whose  verses,  silly  as  they 
are,  will  give  us  a  glimpse  of  the  Where  and  the  How  our 
hero  sat  at  the  theatre, 

* '  In  foremost  row  before  the  astonisli'd  pit ; 
In  brawn  Oldmixon's  rival  as  in  wit ; 
And  grin  dislike,  And  kiss  the  spike  ; 

And  giggle,  )  j  And  fiddle. 

And  wriggle  ;      J  (  And  diddle,"  &c.  &e. 

But  Churchill  returned  to  his  front  row,  "  by  Arthur 
"  undismayed;"  and  still  formidable  was  his  broad  burly 
face,  when  seen  from  the  stage  behind  that  spike  of  the 
orchestra.  "  In  this  place  he  thought  he  could  best 
"  discern  the  real  workings  of  the  passions  in  the  actors, 
"  or  what  they  substituted  in  the  stead  of  them,"  says 
Davies,  who  had  good  reason  to  know  the  place.  There 
is  an  affecting  letter  of  his  in  the  Garrick  Correspondence, 
deprecating  the  manager's  wrath.  "  During  the  run  of 
"  Cymheline,^^  he  says  (and  of  course,  his  line  being  the 
heavy  business,  he  had  to  bear  the  burden  of  royalty  in 
that  play),  "  I  had  the  misfortune  to  disconcert  you 
*'  in  one  scene,  for  which  I  did  immediately  beg  your 
''  pardon ;  and  did  attribute  it  to  my  accidentally  seeing 
*'  Mr.  Churchill  in  the  pit,  with  great  truth ;  it  rendering 
"  me  confused  and  unmindful  of  my  business."     Garrick 

^  Very     diflFerent     was    Robert  he  rendered  worthy  tribute  not  alone 

Lloyd's     masterly   Epistle    to     C.  to  Lis  friend  the  author  of  the  Ros- 

Churchill^  in  which,  while  he  gib-  ciad,  but  to  "manly  Johnson,"  and 

beted  (xray,  and  other  true   men  uf  the 

*'  Murphy,  or  Durfey,  for  it's  all  the  time, 
same, " 


283  RESTRAINTS  THROWN  ASIDE.  \_Charles 

miglit  have  been  more  tolerant  of  poor  Davies,  recollecting 
that  on  a  recent  occasion  even  the  royal  robes  of  Richard 
had  not  wrapt  himself  from  the  consciousness  of  that 
ominous  figure  in  the  pit;  and  that  he  had  grievingly 
written  to  Colman  of  his  sense  of  the  arch-critic's  too 
apparent  discontent.^ 

Thus,  then,  had  Churchill,  in  little  more  than  two 
months,  sprung  into  a  notoriety  of  a  very  remarkable, 
perhaps  not  of  a  very  enviable  kind,  made  up  of  admi- 
ration and  alarm.  What  other  satirists  had  desired  to 
shrink  from,  he  seemed  eager  to  brave ;  and  the  man, 
not  less  than  the  poet,  challenged  with  an  air  of  defiance 
the  talk  of  the  town.  Pope  had  a  tall  Irishman  to  attend 
him  after  he  published  the  Dunciad,  but  Churchill  was 
tall  enough  to  attend  himself.  One  of  Pope's  victims, 
by  way  of  delicate  reminder,  hung  up  a  birch  rod  at 
Button's ;  but  Churchill's  victims  might  see  their  satirist 
any  day  walking  Covent-garden  unconcernedly,  provided 
by  himself  with  a  bludgeon.  What  excuse  may  be  sug- 
gested for  this  personal  bravado  will  be  drawn  from  the 
incidents  of  his  early  life.  If  these  had  been  more 
auspicious,  the  straightforward  manliness  of  his  natural 
character  would  more  steadily  have  sustained  him  to  the 
last.  As  it  was,  even  that  noblest  quality  did  him  a  dis- 
service ;  being  in  no  light  degree  responsible  for  his  violent 
extremes.  The  restraint  he  had  so  long  submitted  to, 
once  thrown  aside,  and  the  compromise  ended,  he  thought 
he  could  not  too  plainly  exhibit  his  new  existence  to  the 
world.  He  had  declared  war  against  hypocrisy  in  all 
•stations,  and  in  his  own  would  set  it  no  example.  The 
pulpit  had  starved  him  on  forty  pounds  a-year ;  the  public 
had  given  him  a  thousand  pounds  in  two  months ;  and  he 
proclaimed  himself,  with  little  regard  to  the  decencies  in 
doing  it,  better  satisfied  with  the  last  service  than  with  the 
first.  This  was  carrying  a  hatred  of  hypocrisy  beyond  the 
verge  of  prudence — indulging  it  indeed,  with  the  satire  it 
found  vent  in,  to  the  very  borders  of  licentiousness.  He 
stripped  off  his  clerical  dress  by  way  of  parting  with  his 
last  disguise,  and  appeared  in  a  blue  coat  with  metal 

1  "My  love    to    Churchill;  his       **  ceived  about  the  house." — Garrick 
*' being  sick  of  Richard  was  per-       to  George  Colman. 


Churchill.']     curacy  of  st.  john's  resigned.         283 

buttons,  a  gold-laced  waistcoat,  a  gold-laced  hat,  and 
ruffles.^ 

Dean  Zacliary  Pearce,  afterwards  Bishop  of  Rochester, 
remonstrated  with  him.  He  replied  that  he  was  not 
conscious  of  deserving  censure.  The  Dean  thereupon 
observed,  that  the  habit  of  frequenting  play-houses  was 
unfitting,  and  that  the  Rosciad  was  indecorous ;  to  which 
he  rejoined,  that  so  were  some  of  the  classics  which  the 
Dean  had  translated.  The  "  dull  dean's  "  third  remon- 
strance as  to  dress,  met  with  the  same  fate ;  and  it  was 
not  until  the  St.  John's  parishioners  themselves  took  the 
matter  in  hand,  a  few  months  later,  that  Churchill 
resigned  the  lectureship  of  that  parish.  It  was  just  that 
they  should  determine  it,  he  said ;  and  the  most  severe 
assailant  of  his  turbulent  life  would  hardly  charge  him 
with  indifference,  at  any  time,  to  what  he  really  believed 
to  be  just.  The  date  of  his  good  fortune,  and  that  of  the 
comfort  of  his  before  struggling  family,  his  "  brother  John 
"  and  sister  Patty,"  were  the  same.  The  complainings 
of  his  wife  were  ended  when  his  own  poverty  was  ended, 
by  the  generous  allowance  he  set  aside  for  her  support. 
Every  man  of  whom  he  had  borrowed  was  paid  with 
interest ;  and  the  creditors,  whose  compromise  had  left 
them  without  a  legal  claim  upon  him,  received,  to  their 
glad  amazement,  the  remaining  fifteen  shillings  in  the 
pound.  "  In  the  instance,"  says  Dr.  Kippis,  "  which 
"  fell  under  my  knowledge  as  an  executor  and  guardian, 
"  Mr.  Churchill  voluntarily  came  to  us  and  paid  the  ftdl 
"  amount  of  the  original  debt." 

It  was  not  possible  with  such  a  man  as  this,  that  any 
mad  dissipation  or  indulgence,  however  countenanced 
by  the  uses  of  the  time,  could  wear  away  his  sense  of 
its  unworthiness,  or  entirely  silence  remorse  and  self- 
reproach.  Nor  is  it  clear  that  Churchill's  heart  was 
ever  half  so  much  with  the  scenes  of  gaiety  into  which  he 

1  In  one  of  the  numberless  and  The  better  to  deceive,  puts  off  the 
now  utterly  forgotten  satires  which  gown  ; 

Churchill's  popularity  provoked,  the  In  blue  and  gold  now  strutting  like 
Author  of  Churchill  Dissected  tells  a  peer 

us —  Cocks  his  lac'd  beaver  with  a  mar- 
*' He  skulks  about,  and,  fearing  to  tial  air." 

be  known, 


284  EPISTLE  TO  LLOYD.  \_CharIes 

is  now  said  to  have  recklessly  entered,  as  witli  the  friend 
by  whose  side  he  entered  them.  It  is  indeed  mournfully 
confessed,  in  the  opening  of  the  Epistle  to  that  friend, 
which  was  his  third  effort  in  poetry,  that  it  was  to  heal 
or  hide  their  care  they  frequently  met ;  that  not  to  defy 
but  to  escape  the  world,  was  too  often  their  desire ;  and 
that  the  reason  was  at  all  times  but  too  strong  with  each 
of  them,  to  seek  in  the  other's  society  a  refuge  from 
himself. 

This  Epistle,  addressed  to  Lloyd,  and  published  in 
October  1761,  was  forced  from  him  by  the  public  impu- 
tations, now  become  frequent  and  fierce,  against  the 
moral  character  of  them  both.  Armstrong,  in  a  poetical 
epistle  to  his  friend  "gay  Wilkes,"  had  joined  with  these 
detractors ;  and  his  Bay  suggested  Churchill's  Night.  It 
ridiculed  the  judgments  of  the  world,  and  defied  its 
censure ;  which  had  the  power  to  call  bad  names,  it  said, 
but  not  to  create  bad  qualities  in  those  who  are  content 
to  brave  such  judgments.  It  had  some  nervous  lines, 
many  manly  thoughts,  and  not  a  little  questionable 
philosophy ;  but  it  proved  to  be  chiefly  remarkable  for 
indicating  the  new  direction  of  Churchill's  satire.  There 
had  been  rumours  of  his  having  intended  a  demolition 
of  a  number  of  minor  actors  hitherto  unassailed,  in  a 
Smithfield  Eosciad;  and,  to  a  poor  man's  pitiable  depre- 
cation of  such  needless  severity,  he  had  deigned  a  sort  of 
surly  indignation  at  the  rumour,  but  no  distinct  denial. 
It  was  now  obvious  that  he  contemplated  other  actors, 
and  a  very  different  theatre.  Pitt  had  been  driven  to 
his  resignation  in  the  preceding  month ;  "  and,"  cried 
Churchill  here,  amid  other  earnest  praise  of  that  darling 
of  the  people, 

*'  What  honest  man  hut  would  with  joy  suhmit, 
To  bleed  with  Cato  and  retire  with  Pitt  ! " 

"  Gay  Wilkes,"  at  once  betook  himself  to  the  popular 
poet.  Though  Armstrong's  Epistle  had  been  addressed 
to  him,  he  declared  that  he  had  no  sympathy  with  it 
whatever;  and  he  was  sure  that  Armstrong  himself,  then 
abroad,  had  never  designed  it  for  publication.  Other 
questions  and  assurances  followed ;  and  so  began  the 
friendship  which  only  death  ended.     Wilkes  had  little 


Churchill.']  JACK  wilkes.  285 

strength  or  sincerity  of  feeling  of  any  kind ;  but  there  is 
no  doubt  that  all  he  had  was  given  to  Churchill,  and  that 
he  was  repaid  with  an  affection  as  hearty,  brotherly,  and 
true,  as  ever  man  inspired. 

All  men  of  all  parties  who  knew  John  Wilkes  at  the 
outset  of  his  extraordinary  career,  are  in  agreement  as  to 
the  fascination  of  his  manners.  It  was  particularly  the 
admission  of  those  whom  he  had  assailed  most  bitterly. 
"  Mr.  Wilkes,"  said  Lord  Mansfield,  "  was  the  plea- 
"  santest  companion,  the  politest  gentleman,  and  the  best 
"  scholar,  I  ever  knew."  *'  His  name,"  said  Dr.  John- 
son, "  has  been  sounded  from  pole  to  pole  as  the  phoenix 
"  of  convivial  felicity."  More  naturally  he  added : 
"  Jack  has  a  great  variety  of  talk ;  Jack  is  a  scholar ; 
"  and  Jack  has  the  manners  of  a  gentleman."  And  every 
one  will  remember  his  characteristic  letter  to  Mrs. 
Thrale  :  "  I  have  been  breaking  jokes  with  Jack  Wilkes 
"  upon  the  Scotch.  Such,  madam,  are  the  vicissitudes 
'*  of  things."  There  is  little  wonder  that  he  who 
could  control  vicissitudes  of  this  magnitude,  should  so 
quickly  have  controlled  the  liking'  of  Churchill.  He 
was  the  poet's  elder  by  four  years;  his  tastes  and  self- 
indulgences  were  the  same ;  he  had  a  character  for 
public  morality  (for  those  were  the  days  of  wide 
separation  between  public  and  private  morality)  as  yet 
unimpeached;  and  when  they  looked  out  into  pubhc 
life,  and  spoke  of  political  affairs,  they  could  discover 
no  point  of  disagreement.  A  curious  crisis  had 
arrived. 

Nearly  forty  years  were  passed  since  Yoltaire,  then  a 
resident  in  London,  had  been  assured  by  a  great  many 
persons  whom  he  met,  that  the  Duke  of  Marlborough  was 
a  coward,  and  Mr.  Pope  a  fool.  Party  went  to  sleep  soon 
after,  but  had  now  reawakened  to  a  not  less  violent 
extreme.  The  last  shadow  of  grave  opposition  to  the 
House  of  Hanover  vanished  with  the  accession  of 
George  III  in  1760  ;  and  there  was  evil  as  well  as  good 
in  the  repose.  With  the  final  planting  of  the  principle  of 
freedom,  implied  in  the  quiet  succession  of  that  House, 
men  grew  anxious  to  reap  its  fruit,  and  saw  it  nowhere 
within  their  reach.  Pitt's  great  administration,  in  the 
latter  years  of  George  II,  merged  these  opening  dissatis- 


g86  VIOLENCE  OF  PARTY  SPIRIT.         \Charles 

factions  in  an  overruling  sense  of  national  glory ;  but,  with 
the  first  act  of  the  young  King,  mth  the  stroke  of  the  pen 
that  made  Lord  Bute  a  privy  councillor,  they  rose  again. 
Party  violence  at  the  same  time  reawakened ;  and,  parody- 
ing Yoltaire's  remark  we  may  say,  that  people  were  now 
existing  who  called  William  Pitt  a  pretender  and  Bubb 
Dodington  a  statesman. 

To  ''  recover  monarchy  from  the  inveterate  usurpa- 
"  tion  of  oligarchy,"  was,  according  to  the  latter  eminent 
person's  announcement  to  his  patron,  the  drift  of  the  Bute 
system.  The  wisdom  of  a  younger  party  in  more  modern 
days,  which  (copying  some  peevish  phrases  of  poor  Charles 
the  First)  compares  the  checks  of  our  English  constitution 
to  Venetian  Doges  and  Councils  of  Ten,'  had  its  rise  in 
the  grave  sagacity  of  Bubb  Dodington.  The  method  of 
the  proposed  ''recovery  "  was  also  notable,  and  has  equally 
furnished  precedents  to  later  times.  It  was  simply  to 
remove  from  power  every  man  of  political  distinction,  and 
replace  hink.-.with  a  convenient  creature.  Good  means 
were  taken.  The  first  election  of  the  new  reign  was 
remarkable  for  its  gross  venality,  nor  had  "undertakers" 
been  so  rife  or  so  active  since  the  reign  of  James  the  First. 
One  borough  even  pubhcly  advertised  itself  for  sale;  and 
so  far,  by  such  means  at  least,  the  desired  success  ap- 
peared within  easy  reach.  But  any  shrewd  observer  might 
foresee  a  great  impending  change  under  the  proposed  new 
system,  in  the  reaction  of  all  this  on  the  temper  of  the 
people  out  of  doors.  Sir  Robert  "VYalpole  did  strange 
things  with  the  House  of  Commons,  but  for  great  popular 
purposes ;  and  already  it  was  manifest  enough,  that  a  mere 
bungling  imitation  of  such  things,  for  purposes  wholly 
unpopular,  would  be  quite  a  different  matter.  In  a  word, 
it  was  becoming  tolerably  clear  to  such  a  man  as  Wilkes, 
who  had  managed  again  to  effect  his  return  for  the 
borough  of  Aylesbury,  that  a  good  day  for  a  Demagogue 
was  at  hand. 

He  possessed  the  requisites  for  the  character.  He  was 
clever,  courageous,  unscrupulous.  He  was  a  good  scholar, 
expert  in  resource,  humorous,  witty,  and  a  ready  master 

^  When  this  Essay  was  written  England  party  under  his  protection, 
(early  in  1845)  Mr.  Disraeli  had  and  the  expressions  referred  to  will 
taken  what  was  called  the  Young       be  found  in  Coningshy. 


Churchill^        alliance  with  wilkes.  287 

of  the  arts  of  conversation.  He  could  '*  abate  and  dis- 
"  solve  a  pompous  gentleman  ^'  with  singular  felicity. 
Churchill  did  not  know  the  crisis  of  his  fortune  that  had 
driven  him  to  patriotism.  He  was  ignorant,  that,  early 
in  the  preceding  year,  after  loss  of  his  last  seven  thousand 
pounds  on  his  seat  for  Aylesbury,  Mr.  Wilkes  had  made 
an  unsuccessful  attempt  upon  the  Board  of  Trade.  He  was 
not  in  his  confidence  when,  a  little  later,  Mr.  Wilkes 
offered  to  compromise  with  Government  for  the  Embassy 
to  Constantinople.  He  was  dead  when,  many  years  later, 
Mr.  Wilkes  settled  into  a  quiet  supporter  of  the  worst  of 
"  things  as  they  were."  What  now  presented  itself  in 
the  form  of  Wilkes  to  Churchill,  had  a  clear  unembar- 
rassed front,  — passions  unsubdued  as  his  own,  principles 
rather  unfettered  than  depraved,  apparent  manliness  of 
spirit,  real  courage,  scorn  of  conventions,  an  open  heart 
and  a  liberal  hand,  and  the  capacity  of  ardent  friendship. 
They  entered  at  once  into  an  extraordinary  alhance, 
offensive  and  defensive. 

It  is  idle  to  deny  that  this  has  damaged  Churchill  with 
posterity,  and  that  Wilkes  has  carried  his  advocate  along 
with  him  into  the  Limbo  of  doubtful  reputations.  But 
we  will  deny  the  justice  of  it.  It  is  absolutely  due  to 
Churchill  that  we  should  regard  Wilkes  from  the  point  of 
view  he  presented  between  1761  and  1764.  He  was  then 
the  patriot  untried,  the  chamberlain  unbought,  befriended 
by  Temple,  countenanced  by  Pitt,  persecuted  by  Bute, 
and,  in  two  great  questions  which  affected  the  vital  inter- 
ests of  his  countrymen,  he  was  the  successful  assertor 
of  English  liberty.  It  is  impossible  to  derive,  from  any 
part  of  their  intercourse,  one  honest  doubt  of  the  sincerity 
of  the  poet.  He  flung  himself,  with  perhaps  unwarrantable 
heat^  into  Wilkes's  personal  quarrels  ;  but  even  in  these, 
if  we  trouble  ourselves  to  look  for  it,  we  find  a  public 
principle  very  often  implied.  The  men  who  had  shared 
with  Wilkes  in  the  obscene  and  filthy  indulgences  of 
Medmenham  Abbey,  were  the  same  who,  after  crawling 
to  the  favourite's  feet,  had  turned  upon  their  old  associate 
with  disgusting  pretences  of  indignation  at  his  immorality. 
If,  in  any  circumstances,  Satire  could  be  forgiven  for 
approaching  to  malignity,  it  would  be  in  the  assailment  of 
such  men  as  these.     The  Eoman  senators  who  met  to 


288  EXCUSES  FOR  A  SATIRIST.  \_Charles 

decide  the  fate  of  turbots,  were  not  more  worthy  of  the 
wrath  of  JuvenaL 

As  to  those  Medmenham  Abbey  proceedings,  and  the 
fact  they  indicate,  we  have  nothino^  to  urge  but  that  the 
fact  should  be  treated  as  it  was.  The  late  wise  and  good 
Dr.  Arnold  lamented  that  men  should  speak  of  religious 
liberty,  the  liberty  being  irreligious ;  and  of  freedom  of 
conscience,  when  conscience  is  only  convenience.  But  we 
must  take  this  time  now  under  consideration  as  we  find  it, 
— politics  meaning  something  quite  the  opposite  of  morals ; 
and  one  side  shouting  for  liberty,  while  the  other  was 
crying  out  for  authority,  without  regard  in  the  least  to 
what  neither  liberty  nor  authority  can  give  us,  without 
patient  earnestness  in  other  labour  of  our  own,  of  obe- 
dience, reverence,  and  self-controL  "We  before  remarked, 
that  Churchill's  genius  was  affected  by  this  characteristic 
of  the  time ;  and  that  what,, as  he  so  often  shows,  might 
otherwise  have  lain  within  his  reach, — even  Dryden's 
massive  strength,  even  Pope's  exquisite  delicacy, — this 
arrested.  It  was  this  which  made  his  writing  the  rare 
mixture  it  too  frequently  is,  of  the  artificial  with  the 
natural  and  impulsive  ;  which  so  strangely  and  fitfully 
blended  in  him  the  wholly  and  the  partly  true;  which 
impaired  his  force  of  style  with  prosaical  weakness  ;  and 
which  (to  sum  up  all  in  one  extreme  objection),  con- 
trolling his  feeling  for  nature  and  truth  by  the  necessities 
of  partisan  satire,  levelled  what  he  says,  in  too  many 
cases,  to  a  mere  bullying  reissue  of  conventional  phrases 
and  moral  commonplace.  Yet  he  knew  what  the  tempta- 
tion should  have  weigh*ed  for,  even  while  he  yielded  to  it; 
and,  from  the  eminence  where  Satire  had  placed  him, 
only  yearned  the  more  eagerly  for  the  heights  above. 

*'  Broad  is  the  road,  nor  difficult  to  find 
Which  to  the  house  of  Satire  leads  mankind  ; 
Narrow  and  unfrequented  are  the  ways, 
Scarce  found  out  in  an  age,  which  lead  to  Praise." 

But  it  is  not  by  the  indifferent  qualities  in  his  works 
that  Charles  Churchill  should  be  judged,  and,  as  he  has 
too  frequently  been,  condemned.  Judge  him  at  his  best ; 
judge  him  by  the  men  whom  he  followed  in  this  kind  of 
composition ;  and  his  claim  to  the  respectful  and  enduring 


Churchill.']         varieties  of  satire.  289 

attention  of  the  students  of  English  poetry  and  litera- 
ture, becomes  manifest.  Of  the  gross  indecencies  of  Sir 
Charles  Hanbury  Williams,  he  has  none.  He  never,  in 
any  one  instance,  whether  to  fawn  upon  power  or  to 
trample  upon  weakness,  wrote  licentious  lampoons.  There 
was  not  a  form  of  mean  pretence,  or  servile  assumption, 
which  he  did  not  denounce.  Low,  pimping  politics,  he 
abhorred :  and  that  their  vile  abettors,  to  whose  e:5j:posure 
his  works  are  so  incessantly  devoted,  have  not  carried 
him  into  utter  oblivion  with  themselves,  sufficiently  argues 
for  the  sound  morality  and  permanent  truth  expressed  in 
his  manly  verse.  He  indulged  too  much  in  personal 
invective,  as  we  have  said ;  and  invective  is  too  apt  to 
pick  up,  for  instant  use  against  its  adversaries,  the  first 
heavy  stone  that  lies  by  the  wayside,  without  regard  to 
its  form  or  fitness.  The  EngHsh  had  not,  in  his  day, 
borrowed  from  the  French  those  nicer  sharpnesses  of 
satire  which  can  dispense  with  anger  and  indignation ; 
and  which  now,  in  the  verse  of  Moore  and  Ber anger,  or 
in  the  prose  of  our  pleasant  Mr.  Punch,  suffice  to  wage  all 
needful  war  mth  hypocrisy  and  falsehood. 

In  justice  let  us  add  to  this  latter  admission,  that  Satire 
seems  to  us  the  only  species  of  poetry  which  appears  to 
be  better  understood  than  formerly.  There  is  a  painful 
fashion  of  obscurity  in  verse  come  up  of  late  years,  which 
is  marring  and  misleading  a  quantity  of  youthful  talent ; 
as  if  the  ways  of  poetry,  like  those  of  steam  and  other 
wonderful  inventions,  admitted  of  original  improvements 
at  every  turn.  A  writer  like  Churchill,  who  thought  that 
even  Pope  had  cramped  his  genius  not  a  little  by  desert- 
ing the  earher  and  broader  track  struck  out  by  Dryden, 
may  be  studied  with  advantage  by  this  section  of  young 
England ;  and  we  recommend  him  for  that  purpose. 
Southey  is  excellent  authority  on  a  point  of  the  kind ; 
and  he  held  that  the  injurious  efiects  of  Pope's  dictator- 
ship in  rhyme  were  not  a  little  weakened,  by  the  manly, 
free,  and  vigorous  verse  of  Churchill,  during  his  rule  as 
tribune  of  the  people. 

Were  we  to  ofier  exception,  it  would  rest  chiefly  on  the 
fourth  published  poem  of  Churchill,  which  followed  his 
Night,  and  precedes  what  Southey  would  call  his  tribu- 
nitial  career.     This  was  the  first  book  of  the  Ghost,  con- 


290 


POETICAL   TRISTKAM    SHANDY.  [Charks 


tinued,  at  later  intervals,  to  tlie  extent  of  four  books. 
It  was  put  forth  by  the  poet  as  a  kind  of  poetical  Tristram 
Shandy — a  ready  resource  for  a  writer  who  seized  care- 
lessly every  incident  of  the  hour  ;  and  who,  knowing  the 
enormous  sale  his  writings  could  command,  sought 
immediate  vent  for  thoughts  and  fancies  too  broken  and 
irregular  for  a  formal  plan.  The  Ghost,  in  his  own  phrase, 
was 

"  A  mere  amusement  at  tlie  most ; 
A  trifle  fit  to  wear  away 
The  horrors  of  a  rainy  day  ; 
A  slight  shot-silk  for  summer  wear, 
Just  as  our  modern  statesmen  are." 

And  though  it  contained  some  sharply  written  character, 
such  as  the  well-known  sketch  of  Dr.  Johnson  (Pomposo), 
and  the  allusions  to  laureat  Whitehead '  (whom  he  never 


^  Mr.  Cunningham  has  favoured 
me  with  a  characteristic  notice  of  this 
attack,  by  Whitehead  himself,  copied 
from  the  Nuneham  MSS,  which  is 
well  worth  preserving  in  a  note.   The 
popularity  of  Churchill  is  not  more 
strikingly  reflected  in  it,  than  the 
fiue-gentleman  airs  with  which  men 
of  the  class  of  Mr.  Whitehead  affected 
to  regard  him.      The  distinguished 
laui-eat,    it   will   be     observed,    is 
shocked  to  hear  from  Lord  Nuneham 
(to  whose  letter  he  is  replying)  that 
he  is  alleged  to  have  spoken  dis- 
respectfully  of  Churchill  at    Lady 
Talbot's,  when  he  really  cannot  re- 
collect having  ever  heard  the  name 
mentioned  in  such  company.    Never- 
theless as   he   procee<ls    he    seems 
substantially  to  admit  the    charge. 
♦'  You  interest  yourself  very  oblig- 
*'ingly  with  regard  to  the  abuse 
* '  which    the    Ghost    has    thought 
"  proper  to  bestow  upon  me.     But 
*'  I  think  of  all  those  things  as  a 
*'  man   of  reason  ought  to  do  :  if 
*'  what  is  said   is  true,  the  world 
'*  knows  it  already;  if  false,  it  will 
*   only  in  the  end  hurt  the  authors 
"of the  calumny.     In  either  case 
"  one  ought  to  rest  contented.     As 
"  to  the  speech  you  talk  of  at  Lady 


*'  Talbot's,  I  really  remember 
''  nothing  at  all  of  the  matter,  nor 
"  that  I  ever  heard  Churchill's 
* '  name  mentioned  in  such  company, 
"  If  I  was  ever  guilty  of  so  vulgar 
"  and  common  place  an  expression, 
"  unless  in  jest,  in  any  company  at 
"  all,  I  should  think  I  deserved  a 
"  reprimand  for  it,  I  may  have 
"  lamented,  and  perhaps  with  in- 
"  dignation,  his  throwing  away  his 
"talents  on  subjects  unworthy  of 
"  him,  and  chusing  to  be  a  Poet 
"  upon  the  Town  rather  than  con- 
"  suiting  the  moral  dignity  of  the 
**  character,  particularly  as  he  was 
*'  a  clergyman.  I  think  so  still,  and 
'*  am  afraid  the  worst  enemy  he  will 
"  ever  meet  with  will  be  himself. 
'*  A  little  of  the  dull  method 
"  he  complains  of  in  me  would 
"be  of  infinite  service  to  him, 
' '  for  as  yet  he  has  written  nothing 
'•  but  Rhapsodys  with  striking 
"  parts  in  them.  His  Legitimate 
' '  Works  are  still  to  come  ;  and  if 
* '  they  ever  do  come,  I  shall  be 
"  one  of  the  first  to  applaud  thena, 
"for  I  honour  the  Art  though  I 
"seldom  practise  it."— IF.  White- 
head to  Lord  Nuneham,  Oct.  24, 
1762. 


Chur chill. '\      character  of  warburton.  291 

tires  of  laughing  at) ;  and  some  graceful  easy  humour, 
such  as  the  fortune-teller's  experience  of  the  various 
gullibility  of  man ;  it  is  not,  in  any  of  the  higher  requi- 
sites, to  he  compared  with  his  other  writings.  It  is  in 
the  octo- syllabic  measure,  only  twice  adopted  by  him. 

The  reason  of  his  comparative  failure  in  this  verse  may 
be  guessed.  Partly  no  doubt  it  was,  that  he  had  less 
gusto  in  writing  it ;  that,  not  having  a  peremptory  call  to 
the  subject,  he  chose  a  measure  which  suited  his  indo- 
lence. Partly  also  we  must  take  it  to  be,  that  the  measure 
itself,  by  the  constantly  recurring  necessity  of  rhyme  (an 
easy  necessity),  tends  to  a  slatternly  diffuseness.  The 
heroic  line  must  have  muscle  as  it  proceeds,  and  thus 
tends  to  strength  and  concentration.  The  eight- syllable 
verse  relies  for  its  prop  on  the  rhyme  ;  and,  being  short, 
tends  to  do  in  two  lines  what  the  heroic  feels  bound  to  do 
in  one.  Nevertheless  he  could  show  his  mastery  here 
also,  when  the  subject  piqued  or  stirred  him ;  and  there 
are  few  more  effective  things  in  his  writings  than  some 
parts  of  his  character  of  Warburton,  to  be  found  in  the 
Duellist. 

BISHOP  WARBURTON. 

*'  He  was  so  proud,  that  should  he  meet 

The  twelve  Apostles  in  the  street, 

He'd  turn  his  nose  up  at  them  all. 

And  shove  his  Saviour  from  the  wall  : 

He  was  so  mean  (meanness  and  pride 

Still  go  together  side  by  side), 

That  he  would  cringe,  and  creep,  be  civil, 

And  hold  a  stirrup  for  the  Devil. 

*  *  *  *  * 

Brought  up  to  London,  from  the  plow 

And  pulpit,  how  to  make  a  bow 

He  tried  to  learn  ;  he  grew  polite, 

And  was  the  Poet's  Parasite. 

"With  wits  conversing  (and  Wits  then 

Were  to  be  found  'mongst  Noblemen), 

He  caught,  or  would  have  caught,  the  flame, 

And  would  be  nothing,  or  the  same. 

He  drank  with  drunkards,  lived  with  sinners, 

Herded  with  infidels  for  dinners  ; 

"With  such  an  emphasis  and  grace 

Blasphemed,  that  Potter  kept  not  pace  : 

He,  in  the  highest  reign  of  noon, 

Bawl'd  bawdry  songs  to  a  psalm  tune  ; 

Lived  ^vith  men  infamous  and  vile. 

Truck' d  his  salvation  for  a  smile  ; 

u  2 


292  DOINGS  OF  LORD  BUTE.  \Charles 

To  catch  their  humour  caught  their  plan, 

And  laugh' d  at  God  to  laugh  with  man  ; 

Praised  them,  when  living,  in  each  breath, 

And  damn'd  their  memories  after  death. 

'  *  To  prove  his  faith,  which  all  admit 

Is  at  least  equal  to  his  wit, 

And  make  himself  a  man  of  note. 

He  in  defence  of  Scripture  wrote  : 

So  long  he  wrote,  and  long  about  it. 

That  e'en  believers  'gan  to  doubt  it. 
«  *  *  «  « 

In  shape  scarce  of  the  human  kind, 
A  man,  without  a  manly  mind  ; 
No  husband,  though  he's  truly  wed  ; 
Though  on  his  knees  a  child  is  bred. 
No  father  ;  injured,  without  end 
A  foe  ;  and  thoug